On Sunday, March 10, 2013, Maine Lobster trap fishery was awarded the Certification of MSC. Watch below as Governor Paul LePage accepts the certificate.
About MSC Maine Lobster
In March, 2013 the Maine Lobster was certified as a “sustainable fishery” at the International Boston Seafood Show by the independent, non-profit Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Our MSC Certification celebrates generations of Maine Lobstermen who have practiced ecologically sustainable fishing methods that have kept our fishing communities economically sustainable as well.
What is MSC:
MSC sets the strictest sustainability standards for seafood in the world. MSC has certified over 200 fisheries that have demonstrated they are well managed and sustainable. A team of independent scientists rigorously assesses all aspects of a particular fishery including the health of the fish stock, marine ecosystem protection, and the effectiveness of fishery management. You can trust that you are doing no harm to the environment when you buy a Maine Lobster.
In order for a fishery to receive MSC certification it must demonstrate that the seafood can be fully traced back through the supply chain. In the case of our wild caught Maine lobster each lobster harvested with MSC certification can be traced back to the lobsterman and the trap that the lobster was harvested from in the cold, clear, clean Maine waters that are the lobster’s natural habitat. You can trust where your Maine Lobster comes from.
What is MSCMAINELOBSTER.org:
MSCMaineLobster.org is a web site designed to inform harvesters, dealers and processors, and consumers about how they can participate in our mission to help keep the Maine Lobster industry economically sustainable by supporting our efforts to keep our resource ecologically sustainable.
What is the Client Group:
Every MSC Certified fishery has a "Client" who holds and manages the MSC Certificate. The Client for the Maine Lobster certified fishery is The Fund for the Advancement of Sustainable Maine Lobster. Currently, two Maine Lobster companies compose the Client Group:
Shucks Maine Lobster and Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine. At present, they are the only two companies licensed to enter Maine Lobster into the MSC Chain of Custody and, thus, the distribution chain. Harvesters are not required to join the Client Group.
John Hathaway, President of Shucks Maine Lobster, is the Chair of the Fund. All enquiries regarding membership into the Client Group should be directed to him. His contact information is stated below.
What is the Fund for the Advancement of Sustainable Maine Lobster:
John Hathaway of Shucks Maine Lobster and Linda Bean of Linda Bean's Perfect Maine started the MSC process more than six
years ago. They established the Fund for the Advancement of Sustainable Maine Lobster, a non-profit Maine company that is the Client to whom the MSC Certification has been awarded.
The Fund raised several hundred thousand dollars privately and spent endless hours along with several harvesters and industry supporters working to achieve MSC Certification. The Fun worked closely with their Advisory Board of harvesters who included Bob Baines, President of the Lobstermen's Advisory Council, Maine Lobstermen's Association Board members Gerry Cushman and Elliot Thomas. Industry leaders such as harvester David Cousens, President of the MLA, and Patrice McCarron, Executive Director of the MLA, played significant roles. Certainly, the Fund is very grateful for the many years of guidance and hard work they invested in this process.
The Fund also received strong support from Gov. Paul LePage and his Commissioner of Marine Resources, Pat Keliher, and his staff, Deirdre Gilbert, Sarah Cotnoir, Carl Wilson and many others. Likewise, former Gov. John Baldacci and his Commissioner, George LePoint, were early supporters of this mission. Without the help and support of these dedicated people, the certification would never have been achieved.
From the beginning, The Fund promised that it would not seek funds from either the harvesters nor the taxpayers. It has kept that promise. The Fun will continue to raise money privately for research, audits, education and marketing sustainability and best handling practices issues. And, in five years, The Fund will need to apply for Recertification.
The Fund will continue to work with lobstermen, lobster coops, independent dealers and lobster processors to keep our fishing communities both ecologically and economically sustainable for generations to come. Above all, you can trust that each individual Maine lobster harvested and branded with the MSC Ecolabel has been caught by a Maine Lobsterman who cares about sustainability, best handling practices, and his local fishing community.
If you would like to help support these efforts, we ask that you buy Maine Lobster that bears the MSC Logo whenever it is available to you. Or, the Fund always welcomes whatever support you are willing to offer.
Globally, the growing market demand for sustainable seafood is a powerful incentive for a fishery such as Maine lobster to help take responsibility for the ecological health of the world’s oceans. MSCMaineLobster.org is on a quest to reward the Maine lobster harvester as our working partners for their responsible harvesting and handling practices.
Maine Lobster lovers also benefit. Today's consumer now "expects" their seafood to come from sustainable sources. MSCMaineLobster.org assures consumers that they can trust that their MSC Certified Sustainable Maine Lobster really comes from the cold, clear, clean waters of Maine.
MSCMaineLobster.org: 100% Maine…100% Sustainable…100% Celebration
For More Information:
For more information on the MSC Certified Maine Lobster Trap Fishery, please visit 'Track A Fishery'
Come with us as we spend a day with two Maine Lobster fishermen and learn about the industry, how it is important to our communities, and how MSC Certification will impact our future.
More About MSC Maine Lobster
John Hathaway, Chair of the Fund, speaks to over two hundred MSC seafood buyers about his vision of the future of Maine Lobster sustainability and traceability.