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Tue Jan 31, 2012, 03:58 PM

Sharp rise in sustainable seafood products on sale in UK


The number of fish and seafood products certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has shot up by 41% in the UK over the last year, as retailers and supermarkets respond to consumers' demand to know the provenance of the produce they buy.

Fisheries minister Richard Benyon has hailed the progress made over the last 10 years as evidence of "a seismic shift" in people's attitudes towards the quality and source of the fish they eat, but admits that challenges remain in keeping the momentum going.

The MSC is an international non-profit organisation set up to help make the seafood market sustainable. It oversees and manages the distinctive blue labelling system that tells consumers which species of fish they can buy safe in the knowledge they aren't destroying stocks.

The growth in the number of MSC-certified products on UK shelves has been significant, from 200 in 2008 to 988 at the end of 2011. The figure is up 41% from 701 in 2010. More than 13,000 seafood products worldwide from prepared seafood meals to fresh fish now bear the MSC label in 80 countries, up 50% over the last year.

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