WITH Merseyside being a haven for
tourists, 2004 will not see our famous sea side food suffering. Cod
is still a mainstay of the UK seafood market with a retail volume of
44,000 tonnes frozen and 17,000 tonnes chilled in 2003 and most
popular fish sold in fish is... Yes you got it correct... Cod, with
8,600 fish being sold in fish and chip shops through out the UK.
Fish and chips is still the UK's most popular takeaway food
favourite with 280 million meals being eaten last year and we have
the top 5 National Fish Charts for 2003 are as follows...
A tasty dish, COD, is still number one!
Not to fishy that it came in second, Haddock.
Huss swims in at number three.
At number five... Not the most popular at the
dinner place is plaice, but still tasty.
An army of High Street fishmongers and fish
and chip shop owners throughout the UK will help remind consumers
that cod is still on the menu as European leaders meet to decide
next year's fishing quotas.
John Rutherford, Chief Executive of the Sea
Fish Industry Authority (Seafish), a Non Departmental Public Body
said:- "Negative headlines generated around the annual
setting of fishing quotas and the related concerns about North Sea
cod stocks is leading to confusion in the High Street. Seafood
businesses have asked us to give them independent, factual
information on cod stocks to help deal with customer enquiries and
our message is that although we are concerned about North Sea cod
stock levels, this will have little impact on UK consumers'
enjoyment of cod." Seafish has issued fact sheets to
10,000 fishmongers and fish friers with advice to customers on cod
availability. John Rutherford told us:- "The vast
majority of cod we eat in the UK is sourced from sustainable global
stocks, traded on an international market. More than 90 per cent of
cod consumed in the UK is imported from areas such as Icelandic
waters and the Barents Sea. Areas which are actually increasing
their cod quotas in 2004 due to careful stock management. In fact,
from a total quota of 810,000 tonnes of cod available across the
Northern Hemisphere, just three per cent comes from the North
Mr Rutherford acknowledged concern to us over
low North Sea cod stocks and the impact it has on the communities
traditionally served by the fishery, but stressed it was not all bad
"The scientific advice on North Sea
stocks is much more positive than last year," he said.
"There are signs of a cod recovery and that the measures put in
place by our fishermen are working.
There is also good news for other
species. Haddock stocks have increased dramatically - up 17 per cent
from last year and the highest it has been for 30 years. Stocks of
saithe and nephrops are also healthy.
Our fishermen are taking a responsible
approach with new ideas coming forward for ways to manage the mixed
fishery - so that boats are able to continue fishing for other
species but leaving cod stocks to continue recovery."
He also encouraged consumers to try new fish
and shellfish dishes.