Restaurants could be hit with higher prices for fish after an influential report demanded 30% of UK waters become fishing-free areas.

Turning the Tide, Addressing the Impact of Fisheries on the Marine Environment by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution claims that conservation is the only option for an industry suffering chronic overcapacity.

Released just weeks before next year’s fish quotas, it could lead to restrictions and drive fresh fish prices up, if the report’s recommendations are adopted.

However, the chief executive of industry body Seafish, John Rutherford, said: “Over 70% of the seafood we eat in the UK comes from outside UK waters. Because of this global market there should be no impact on prices.”

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