The Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) has slammed Asda's decision to stop selling monkfish.

It said studies of the Scottish monkfish stock showed it was in good health, resulting in the quota for monkfish being increased by 10% for 2007.

 Boats were fishing for monkfish sustainably, said Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive. "Part of the reason put forward appears to revolve around concerns about the environmental impact of beam trawling. We would point out there is not a single beam trawler in the Scottish fleet."

Chris Brown, Asda's sustainable and ethical sourcing manager said: "We've decided to ban monkfish sales as a precaution until the industry takes appropriate action to ensure its long-term survival. We are concerned about some of the catching methods."

As part of its pledge to back Marine Stewardship Council standards, Asda has also stopped selling swordfish, shark, skate wings, ling, huss, and Dover sole.

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