North Sea cod has entered Marine Stewardship Council assessment – widely regarded as the ultimate test of seafood sustainability. The move has been organised by a coalition of fishing organisations, supermarkets, seafood brands, and the seafood industry body Seafish following significant efforts to improve the stock by Scottish and English fishermen.

The assessment process could lead to North Sea cod becoming MSC certified within the next 18 months, putting it back on the menu for ethically-minded shoppers and diners, who have avoided the fish for more than a decade because of overfishing concerns.

The cod stocks in the North Sea peaked at 270,000 tonnes in the 1970s, when Scottish and English cod was widely sold and enjoyed. The stocks had fallen to just 44,000 tonnes in 2006, however a concerted effort, principally by Scottish and English fishermen, has seen stocks rise to a level of 149,000 tonnes last year.* This was achieved through collectively adopting sustainable fishing practices such as modification of their fishing gear, ‘real time’ closures, and sea area closures to protect spawning females. To read more click here.

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