In its most recent advice, the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) assesses that the North Sea cod stock has been subject to both increased fishing pressure and reduced recruitment levels. This combination of effects has led to the reduced stock status. There is no clear cause of the low recruitment in 2018 although a number of factors including the size of adult spawning stock and environmental variability are known to affect recruitment success. The Government is committed to ensuring our fish stocks are healthy and UK fisheries management is sustainable for future generations.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification is an industry led initiative to reassure consumers as to the sustainability of the fish they eat. This is not organised nor administered by the Government, but by the MSC.