Captain Birds Eye has pulled the plug on his cod operations, in a bid to save the species from extinction.

Birds Eye Walls

, the UK company controlled by Anglo-Dutch consumer goods conglomerate Unilever, reported the move yesterday, saying that cod stocks were dangerously close to collapse and it would be reviewing its entire production range accordingly.

By the end of this year, the company will be distributing cod

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Birds Eye Wall’s Ltd

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fish sticks and breaded grills made from other fish that are less threatened, such as coley, hoki or pollack. The products will be branded “white fish”.

Unilever is hoping that the move to support sustainable fish stocks will display its “green” credentials and prove popular with the environmentally friendly consumers. “We are committed to buying all our fish from sustainable sources by 2005. This is what consumers want us to do,” explained Birds Eye director Chris Pomfret to The Times newspaper.

Birds Eye fish fingers have been popular since their launch in 1955, but a Unilever spokesman stressed that while cod fish fingers would remain for the time being, the company will faze them out if cod stocks continue to fall. The ingredients change would herald the largest overhaul of the fish finger brand since the company traded in John Hewer, the elderly white haired Cap’n in the adverts, for a younger model.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

Fish & Fish Products

The UK Fish Industry

The UK Fish Industry (download)