Exclusive Tony Brown Food manufacturers and supermarkets have fully endorsed a product labelling scheme designed to protect the world's fish species. From this week, the Marine Stewardship Council is launching Fish Forever, a campaign to encourage sustainable fishing practices. The Essex based Thames Herring Fishery has already proved itself worthy of the new label, together with Western Australian Rock Lobster. The action is backed by all the major supermarket groups, who are signatories to the MSC's aims, and food groups Unilever and Youngs Bluecrest. The aim is for all fish stocks to be sourced only from MSC accredited stocks by 2005. The chairman of the MSC, former UK Secretary of State for the Environment John Gummer MP, said: "We are in danger of finding fish fingers a luxury item in just a few short years unless we do something to protect our fish stocks. This campaign will demonstrate to others that sustainability is good for business as well as good for the environment." The MSC scheme also has the backing of the World Wildlife Fund, the Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Noor of Jordan. To gain MSC accreditation, fish producers, processors and retailers who will be assessed by an independent third party. The consumer will have a big part to play in making sure the logo has an impact ­ by buying only those goods on products that have the mark of approval from the MSC. Last year, the Department of Agriculture admitted cod was approaching "commercial extinction" and the EU has reduced catches by 60% in the Irish Sea and 39% in the North Sea. {{NEWS }}