Sir: Following your report (6 February) on the threat to cod stocks in the North Sea, I felt it important, on behalf of the UK fish processing industry, to point out that Britain does not face an imminent cod shortage.
Current scientific evidence does suggest that there is cause for concern about North Sea fish stocks - and it seems that some tough decisions will need to be made about reduction of fishing effort in order to maintain a thriving British fishery for the future.
However, consumers should not be misled into believing that this news means the imminent collapse of cod supply to the British market.
Britain consumes 25 per cent of the entire world cod catch but only 5 per cent of the total is sourced from the endangered North Sea fishery. The majority comes from well-managed, sustainable fisheries such as the Baltic and Barents Sea, where quotas are actually being increased.
We would do much to safeguard our own fishing industry by learning some of the lessons taught by these fisheries.
Booker Fish Division