Britain is now the best place to buy marine fish from sustainable sources after going top of the international league table for the number of MSC-certified products on offer.

Retailers in the UK now list 100 products that have the MSC's blue eco-label, taking over the top spot from supermarkets in the US,with 93. MSC chief executive Rupert Howes paid tribute to British retailers. "Demand is coming back down the supply chain from consumers through supermarkets to suppliers. Organistions that sell the fish are finding they are getting preferential treatment and a better price by being MSC-certified.

"Supermarkets favour them because having an MSC eco-label answers all their ecological questions, so it is a significant advantage."

The MSC has just certified South African hake, its 500th line. It claimed 5% of the world's total marine catch is now from MSC sources, including 32% of whitefish and 42% of wild salmon.