The Co-operative Group is to write to every MP in the country highlighting the need to include a mechanism for creating marine reserves in the draft Marine Bill.

The move follows the results of a survey conducted by The Co-op using chip and pin devices at checkouts across 2,400 of its stores. Eighty-three percent of the 360,000 shoppers that took part in the survey said they supported the introduction of highly protected marine reserves.

Paul Monaghan, head of social goals and sustainability at The Co-op, said marine reserves had been shown to be effective in helping ecosystem and fish stock recovery.

“It is important that MPs understand the level of support there is for highly protected marine reserves,” Monaghan said.

The poll was carried out as part of the retailer’s Marine Reserves Now campaign, launched earlier this year alongside the Marine Stewardship Council to drum up public support for a network of reserves to be included in the Marine Bill.

As it is currently drafted, the Marine Bill – which gets its first reading in the House of Commons within the next few weeks – has no such requirement.