Seafish tells consumers to keep eating seafood –

Seafish tells consumers to keep eating seafood Published:  22 December, 2005

A DRIVE to reassure consumers that they can still eat seafood with a clear conscience has been launched by The Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) in response to the new 2006 fishing quotas which were agreed by the European Union in Brussels today.

John Rutherford, Seafish Chief Executive said: “The key message for consumers is that they should keep eating fish. We are pleased that a practical compromise has been reached during the December fish talks for the UK fishing fleet. These measures will help to balance the conservation of stocks with the long term future of the industry.

“There is especially good news in relation to quotas of prawns, which is one of the most important economic earners for the whole of the UK fleet and particularly in Scotland.”

Mr Rutherford added that although the European Union continues to focus restrictions on cod, with over 95% of the cod supply in the UK coming from worldwide sources, consumers can also continue to eat species like cod with a clear conscience.

He said: “The main supplies of UK cod come from northern waters such as around Iceland, Norway and the Barents Sea. Around 95% of our cod supplies come from these well managed resources.”

He also stressed the importance of recognising the measures already being put in place by the seafood industry to secure a sustainable future.

“These measures ensure that any cod that does come from the UK is caught under very strict management regimes. All UK fishermen operate in a highly regulated environment. The fish that they catch are closely monitored by international management agreements that are aimed at creating sustainable stocks.

“Therefore, consumers can be assured that the seafood is safe to eat and they can continue to buy seafood with confidence.

“Finally, there are over one hundred different species available to consumers in the UK – to lessen the demand on more traditional types of seafood, consumers should be encouraged to be more adventurous and try a wider range,” he concluded.