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North Sea cod loses sustainability “blue tick” after stock falls.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) will suspend certificates for its MSC-certified North Sea cod fisheries in October after a precipitous decline in populations.

The decision could see cod withdrawn from supermarkets next year and comes just two years after the MSC issued the “blue tick” eco-label, which signifies that fish are sustainably sourced. The population decline is believed to be caused by climate change, with warming waters affecting survival rates of newly born cod, and overfishing.

North Sea cod fisheries only supply a small proportion of the estimated 115,000 tonnes of cod consumed annually in the UK. The majority (94 percent) is sourced from Iceland, Norway and Russia. Nevertheless, the revocation of the certificate will ensure that it is more difficult to sell cod to UK supermarkets, although this will ultimately be dependent on what type of quotas are agreed for the fishery, and prices will likely increase.

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