Fish sustainability - redressing the balance

July 14, 2010 14:22

The misconception headlined in recent Sunday Times that ‘Fish stocks eaten to extinction by 2050' results primarily from a paper by Boris Worm published in 2006 and widely publicised at the time. In the intervening years Worm's 2050 claim has been extensively discussed and disputed - and in fact now withdrawn by its author, reports with reference to Young's. 

The seafood industry is acutely aware of the well-founded environmental concerns in fisheries and of the many challenges ahead as we work towards a more sustainable future. The issues are being actively addressed through a combination of quality management systems for wild capture fisheries and the development of sustainable fish farming. The general picture today is much more positive even than even five years ago, and with the help of industry initiatives (such as our own ‘Fish for Life') we can all be much more confident that we're now on the right road to securing seafood for future generations.

Britain already has more MSC-certified fisheries than any other nation, and there are many clear examples of new controls have started to turn around previously endangered stocks - such as North Sea cod. Whilst newspapers enjoy dramatic headlines, it is very important that we provide a balanced view. Fish is a healthy food and people should not feel discouraged from eating it, particularly when they can choose from an increasing number of sustainably sourced choices which are readily available in every local supermarket.

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