Canadian lobster earns MSC eco-label

Atlantic Canada’s offshore lobster fishery on Wednesday became the region’s sixth fishery and the world’s first American lobster fishery to be certified as sustainable and well-managed under the Marine Stewardship Council program.

Clearwater Seafoods Ltd. Partnership, which holds all eight licenses for the year-round fishery, served as the client. The Nova Scotia-based seafood producer uses two vessels to harvest the 720-metric-ton annual quota, unchanged since 1985. Managed by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the harvest takes place in Lobster Fishing Area 41, which extends from Georges Bank to the Laurentian Channel off Cape Breton to 50 miles offshore.

Approximately 95 percent of the catch is exported, about three-quarters of which is sold in the United States; the rest ends up in Europe and Japan.

“Clearwater Seafoods is committed to sustainable fisheries, and we are proud to now have this third-party verification of the MSC’s rigorous standard as a way to demonstrate to our customers the sustainability of this fishery, which we feel is among the best managed lobster fisheries in the world,” said Clearwater CEO Ian Smith.

Moody Marine Ltd. served as the third-party certifier.

More than 200 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program, with 82 certified, 126 in full assessment and 40 to 50 in confidential pre-assessment.

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