Cod is back on the menu in the UK. A decade after overfishing caused North Sea cod fishery stocks to plummet from 270,000 tonnes in the 1970s to 44,000 tonnes in 2006, the Marine Stewardship Council has given its blessing to cod lovers to tuck into the fish “with a clear conscience”. The turnaround in the fish’s fortunes is down to a cod recovery plan, which included a reduction in the size of the annual catch by cutting down the number of days boats were allowed to fish. Toby Middleton from the MSC said: “Thanks to a collaborative, cross-industry effort, one of our most iconic fish has been brought back from the brink. Modified fishing gear, catch controls, well-managed fishing practices – all these steps have come together to revive a species that was in severe decline.” The numbers speak for themselves with cod stocks now back up to 167,711 tonnes, the highest it has been for 35 years. After passing an independent sustainability assessment by the MSC, North Sea cod caught by Scottish and English cod boats are allowed to carry a big blue tick, which means the product is sustainable and fully traceable. Thank Cod.