Phillip MacMullen - Head of environemnt, Seafish (Sea Fish Industry Authority)

Making sure the fish we eat in Britain is from healthy stocks is becoming imperative to retailers and consumers and it's certainly encouraging to see good examples being set by high-profile chefs, such as Tom Aikens and Raymond Blanc. But Joanna Blythman presents a misinformed view of fisheries when in fact the reality is more positive ('Second Opinion', The Grocer, 5 January). Ms Blythman states that "70% of global fish stocks are now either fully fished, over-fished or depleted". This figure comes from the UNFAO and can equally be presented as 75% of worlds' fish stocks are under or fully fished, with the latter meaning the stock is at its full potential but safe to be harvested. There is no denying that there are serious problems with some fish stocks around the world but the species cited in Ms Blythman's article are misleading examples. Cod stocks, although problematic around the British Isles, are in generally good shape further north, in the Barents Sea, for example. ICES scientists accept that monkfish stocks are in good shape and species of tuna, such as skipjack, yellowfin and albacore, are plentiful. Fishermen are increasingly becoming a part of the solution and are working with conservationists, retailers and others for a sustainable future. The recent 2008 EU fishing quota announcements offered more responsibility to the fishermen - trusting them to fish more selectively. The industry as a whole is looking to the future, and there's plenty of good news, but the story is not a simple one.