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Cod back on the menu at restaurants

15 February 2006

Cod has been put firmly back on the restaurant menu after the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) awarded sustainable status to a Pacific fishery.

The MSC has granted the Pacific cod freezer longline fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands the first ever sustainable cod-stocks certificate.

The fishery is composed of 39 vessels harvesting 116,000 metric tonnes of Pacific cod off the cost of Alaska.

It means dinners will be able to consume cod safe in the knowledge that they aren't eating it into extinction.

In turn, restaurateurs will be able to place the MSC eco label on their menus to put paid to consumer concern over diminishing fish supplies.

MSC chief executive Rupert Howes said: "The dwindling of Atlantic cod stocks has divided scientists and producers for a long time. This puts consumers' minds at ease as they can easily identify a sustainable source of their favourite fish."

Fishery owner Bering Select Seafoods Company will begin deliveries of certified cod to the UK later this month through Young's Bluecrest.

MSC is an independent non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of over fishing.

By Chris Druce

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