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Deer Isle, Isle au Haut and Stonington, Maine.
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by Jessica Brophy
It’s taken five years of effort, but Maine lobster is now officially certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
On Sunday, March 10, Governor Paul LePage announced the certification while attending the International Boston Seafood Show, according to a Department of Marine Resources press release.
The certification, said LePage, “will provide the Maine lobster industry with a globally-recognized seal of approval.”
The MSC, headquartered in London with offices around the world, has “developed standards for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability. They ensure that MSC-labeled seafood comes from, and can be traced back to, a sustainable fishery,” said John Hathaway in an August 2012 interview. Hathaway is president of Shucks Maine Lobster and is also president of the Fund for Sustainable Maine Lobster. The Fund paid for and shepherded the certification process.
To achieve certification, fisheries are assessed on standards that include the health of the fish stock, ecosystem protection and the effectiveness of fisheries management.
“This certification recognizes 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,” said LePage in the DMR press release.
LePage also said MSC certification allows for increased marketing and exposure for Maine lobster. Canadian lobster is not certified sustainable by the MSC.
For more information about the Marine Stewardship Council and the certification process, visit msc.org.