Demand for less familiar species in ready-to-cook prepack formats is soaring according to supplier New England Seafood.

The company reports strong sales of wild Alaskan salmon fillets, tuna steaks and sea bass fillets under supermarket brands.

The focus of the industry was now on reducing wastage, according to MD Dan Aherne. NESI is engaged on projects to reduce packaging and the associated environmental and monetary cost of disposal.

"Polystyrene is synonymous with the industry and the prize of moving to less costly and recyclable materials is significant," he said.

Balancing food miles and carbon footprint with sourcing from sustainable fisheries was also rising up the agenda, said Aherne, who hopes that a Fairtrade fish is not far off. "We are having conversations. It is a couple of years away."

There was an increasing interest in sourcing policies, he said, but added: "The conscientious consumer will have to pay a bit more."

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