Birds Eye has unveiled a move it dubs the "most significant fish marketing initiative since the launch of the first fish finger".

The UK-based firm said today (3 August) that, from next month, it will sell "sustainable" fish fingers, made entirely from Alaskan pollock fillets.

Bird Eye wants to move consumers away from cod, which has seen stocks dwindle in recent years. The Marine Stewardship Council, which aims to protect fish stocks, praised the launch.

"This is a bold move by Birds Eye that demonstrates their continued commitment to responsible fishing," said MSC chief executive Rupert Howes.

Bird Eye chief executive Martin Glenn said consumers are usually reluctant to switch products for reasons of sustainability.

He added: "Sustainability initiatives can be a challenge because, on the whole, consumers do not yet see it as a reason to switch purchase, so we are delighted that through this launch we will bring sustainability to the mainstream family favourite."

A Birds Eye spokesperson said the company would still sell its traditional cod fish finger, although it planned to reduce its stocks of the fish.

She told just-food: "Retailers have been extremely supportive of the launch and the sustainable fish finger and we envisage that the new fish finger will be available throughout the freezer aisles of all major retailers."