At home and in restaurants, diners are now able to eat cod knowing it comes from a sustainable, tracable source.
North Sea cod is making a healthy recovery thanks to a decade of hard work and the recently-acquired Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation.
Home cooks and diners can rest easy when enjoying sustainable and fully traceable cod, which joins mackerel and haddock on the sustainable species menu.
More than a decade ago, cod stocks were dwindling dangerously low, prompting fisheries to implement a recovery plan for diminished populations of cod in the North Sea.
This summer’s MSC accreditation for British fishing fleets means Britain can maintain sustainable cod stocks and a completely transparent and traceable chain of custody.
MSC cod are accounted for from the moment it’s plucked from the sea until it arrives on your plate at home or in a restaurant.
Scottish restauranteur Mark Greenaway proudly cooks with MSC-accredited cod in his Edinburgh establishment, Restaurant Mark Greenaway.
A vocal ambassador for Scottish seafood, he said: “Seafood in Scotland really is revered all over the world and I’ve been all over the world cooking it.
“With MSC coming in and looking after the cod, I think that can only help.
“It looks after the waters, it provides sustainability and it’s got all those keywords and buzzwords that customers really look for care about now.”
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Fishermen feeding into MSC-accredited fisheries adhere to strict quotas to make sure cod stocks maintain sustainability.
David Gatt is a fourth-generation fisherman and today is skipper of Audacity, sailing to and from the docks at Peterhead harbour.
“MSC gives the consumer the reassurance that they’re buying fish from a sustainable fishery and it’s caught ethically,” he said.
“We’re not damaging the environment - we’re only harvesting a sustainable amount off the stock each year.”
To keep cod levels sustainable, David encourages shoppers and diners to keep track of the fish’s chain of custody.
“It’s important to look for the MSC label,” he said, “it should reassure you of the past over-exploitation of cod doesn’t happen any more - you’re now eating a sustainably-caught fish.”