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Consumers spending more on sustainable seafood

Published 31/10/2015

Shoppers are now more aware of sustainably-sourced seafood
Shoppers are now more aware of sustainably-sourced seafood

Consumers are spending 30% more on sustainable seafood than they were two years ago - as public awareness and the range of products increases, figures suggest.

Shoppers spent an estimated £403 million on certified sustainable products in the year to April, an increase of 16% on the previous 12 months - and 30% more than two years ago, according to figures from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

The number of MSC certified products, which stretch to health supplements, pet food and baby food, has reached more than 1,100 - more than twice the number of those on offer in 2012.

The number of MSC certified fish and chip restaurants in the UK has doubled this year, while students at 21 UK universities and more than 3,500 schools can choose certified seafood in their canteens.

Toby Middleton, the MSC's UK programme director, said: "Five years ago, one in five UK shoppers recognised the MSC ecolabel, but now it's more than one in four shoppers.

"When shoppers and diners choose seafood with the MSC ecolabel, they reward the fisheries, retailers, brands and restaurants that are committed to sustainable sourcing, and incentivise others to improve their practices, helping to ensure that the life in our oceans is safeguarded for the future."

Seafood is the world's single most traded food commodity, at about 10 times the value of coffee.

Globally, one billion people rely on fish for their main source of protein and around 10% of the world's population depend on it for their livelihood.

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