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UK frozen foods group Birds Eye has increased its focus on sustainability with a commitment to reduce its eastern Baltic cod catch by 80%.

The company said it was the first “major manufacturer” to pledge to make “such extensive reductions”.

This initiative will see a 2,000 tonne reduction in Birds Eye’s annual cod catch from the eastern Baltic, saving an estimated six million fish – the equivalent of 66.5m fish fingers.

Martin Glenn, CEO of Birds Eye Iglo, said: “Sustainability is a complex issue and in making this commitment we have been careful to balance not just our commitment to providing sustainably sourced fish, but also our social obligations to the fishing community.”

Last month, Birds Eye began selling “sustainable” fish fingers, made entirely from Alaskan pollock fillets.