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Prince Charles hosted a reception for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an organization that has been promoting sustainable fishing practices across the globe, earlier this week.

During the event, the Prince of Wales compared current problems with over-fishing and the world’s endangered fish stocks to the discussions that surrounded climate change in the 1980s.

“The science tells us very clearly that if we continue to fish without any care for the long term sustainability of fish stocks we will soon face a nightmare collapse in stocks and inevitable starvation amongst the world’s poorest people,” he said. “So I think the debate about the marine environment is rather like that which surrounded climate change in the 1980s. Back then climate change was something about which a few people were trying very hard to make their voices heard, occasionally myself, but nobody wanted to listen. Over the years I’ve tried to make speeches and hold seminars and those things about the fishing problem, but again it has been very difficult to get the attention of all sorts of people, agencies, organizations and the consumer – the subject was quite literally out of sight and out of mind.”

Over 2,000 seafood products around the world carry the MSC blue eco-label – the organization’s certificate for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

“We are most grateful to HRH The Prince of Wales for hosting this event and joining the MSC in congratulating leaders in the seafood industry and supporters for their commitments to sustainability and achievements over the last decade,” said MSC Executive Rupert Howes. “Transforming the global seafood market to a sustainable basis is a major, but achievable aim. It is one to which everyone, individually or corporately, can make a real contribution by making the most environmentally sound choices when harvesting or buying seafood. As we at the Marine Stewardship Council prepare for the next decade with our many partners, the support of The Prince of Wales will be invaluable in generating further momentum to help us all to achieve the goal of the world’s oceans teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations.”

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