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Maine lobster fishery MSC certified

14 Mar 2013
Maine lobster. Credit: NOAA/OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP)

Maine lobster. Credit: NOAA/OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP)

During the Boston Seafood Show it was announced that the Maine lobster fishery has achieved MSC certification.

Maine Governor Paul LePage recognised the fishery as one of the best known in the world and said the announcement was historic for an iconic brand.

"The Marine Stewardship Council’s certification will provide the Maine lobster industry with a globally-recognised seal of approval," said the Governor. "This certification recognises our longstanding practices of good stewardship and ensures that every lobster caught in Maine waters can be marketed not only as delicious, healthy food, but also as a resource that meets the most stringent international environmental standard for seafood sustainability."

The Maine lobster fishery predominantly occurs in Maine’s three mile territorial waters in the area designated as Lobster Conservation Management Area 1 (LCMA 1). Fishermen use baited lobster traps, called pots, which are lowered to the sea floor and are constructed to allow smaller lobsters to easily exit the trap.

The Maine lobster fleet is comprised primarily of small vessels between 22 and 42 feet in length that are operated by one or two people. The number of Maine lobster fisherman has remained steady at approximately 6,700 licenses for more than half a century. 

In 2012, landings of Maine lobster were approximately 57,000 metric tonnes with a value in excess of half a billion dollars. 

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Maine lobster. Credit: NOAA/OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP)

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