Prince Charles has warned that the debate surrounding endangered fish stocks is like the discussions on climate change in the 1980s.

In a speech to members of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) at Clarence House, the Prince of Wales said that 30 years ago, people tried to make their concerns about global warming heard, but that nobody wanted to listen.

Prince Charles said: ‘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.

‘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, organisations and the consumer—the subject was quite literally out of sight and out of mind.’

The MSC has been promoting sustainable fishing practices across the globe. The event at Clarence House included those who had signed up to the MSC’s eco-labelling and certification programme for wild-capture fisheries.

Today, more than 2,000 seafood products in 41 countries carry the blue MCS eco-label, which shows that they have been awarded the organisation’s certificate for sustainable, well-managed fisheries.

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