Sir, I was interested to read your article 'Too many fish in the sea say Norwegian cod industry experts'. (The Grocer, 16 October). It is certainly true to say the Norwegian Barents Sea cod is a success story.

The Norwegian fishery for the Barents Sea cod stock is also certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as sustainable. Cod are naturally cannibalistic and it is therefore no surprise that where cod populations are larger, as is the case in the Barents Sea, that fishers are finding high numbers of juvenile cod in the stomachs of fish being cleaned for market.

What is important is that the management of cod stocks limits the amount of fish removed from our seas to ensure that the population can replenish itself. In the majority of fisheries natural mortality, caused by fish eating other fish, is relatively insignificant compared to those killed by human activity.

Barents cod has been managed using best practices and WWF urges other fisheries to take a similar precautionary approach.

Giles Bartlett, Fisheries policy officer, WWF UK

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