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Fish and chips could be replaced with squid and chips, say scientists

The traditional British dish of fish and chips could be replaced by squid, government scientists have said.

Cod and haddock populations are suffering in the warming sea temperatures, meanwhile squid is being spotted in more and more UK fishing areas, according to new research.

Data show that squid numbers have increased dramatically over the past 35 years.

In 1984, Cefas found squid at only 20% of its 76 survey stations in the North Sea, compared with 60% in 2014.

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Researchers are warning we may need to replace "old favourites" with fish that thrive in warm waters such as squid or mackerel.

Dr John Pinnegar, of the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) said: “UK consumers enjoy eating quite a limited range of seafood, but in the long-term we will need to adapt our diets.

The Duchess of Cornwall tucking into fish and chips Credit: PA

“In 2025 and beyond, we may need to replace cod and other old favourites with warm-water species such as squid, mackerel, sardine and red mullet.”

He said research suggests seawater temperatures off the UK may continue to rise.

The research will be presented today at the British Ecological Society annual meeting in Liverpool.