Sir, More than one billion people rely on fish for their food and livelihoods. With 75% of fish stocks fully or over-exploited and predictions of global fisheries collapsing by 2048, urgent action must be taken .

EU nations have signed up to a motion to eliminate pirate fishing; three major environmental organisations have launched Good Catch, an initiative to support sustainable seafood in the UK catering sector; M&S, Waitrose, Asda and Carrefour have pledged to source as much of their fi sh as possible from certified sustainable fisheries; and fisheries around the world are queuing up to join the Marine Stewardship Council’s scheme, with more than 2,000 products now MSC certified.

The UK is on the cusp of making an important decision. The Marine and Coastal Access Bill is in its final stages in Parliament and is expected to become law in the summer.

Regulators and the industry need clear support from consumers and retailers. Buying fish only from certified sustainable fisheries
is the best way to support sustainable fishing, and the Food Ethics Council calls on British supermarkets to make this commitment.

Shoppers don’t expect to buy fish from threatened stocks, and the sooner those are taken off the fishmonger’s slab, the better.

Tom MacMillan, executive director, Food Ethics Council