Fish out of water

Clover Leaf Seafoods has a new website where you can look up information on the tuna in the can you bought. Go to Once on the site you enter the numbers and letters on the can. My can contains albacore tuna. No surprise there.

Next, there’s a map showing that the tuna was caught in the South Pacific, east of the Solomon Islands, using longline fishing gear with baited hooks. That’s good, no net scraping the ocean floor. The vessel was the Sui Yuan Yu 30 from China and my tuna was caught sometime between August 9 and September 3, 2015. A year ago.

I’m starting to wish I hadn’t bothered, but I press on and find that each tuna weighed 10-80 pounds, was blast frozen aboard the ship and sent to a processing plant in Thailand where the fish was thawed, cleaned and steamed. After the fish cooled, the meat was removed from the bones, then packed into cans ready to wend its way to my table.

I previously laboured under the naive delusion that my tuna was caught off one of Canada’s coasts, brought live to the local cannery, and trucked to my grocer. My can of tuna is good until November 2018, more than three years after it was caught halfway around the world. I am reminded of the old saying, “Laws are like sausages, it’s better not to see them being made.” Or to learn your fish’s life history.


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