Canadian Lobster Fishery Undergoing MSC Assessment
The Eastern Canada offshore lobster fishery has entered the Marine Stewardship Council full assessment process.
The fishery comprises four vessels that employ traps to catch 720 metric tons of American lobster annually. The lobsters are landed whole and generally sold live, though other product forms include raw frozen lobster in the shell and frozen lobster meat. About 75 percent of the harvest is sold in the United States, with the rest exported mainly to Europe and Japan.
MSC's client is Clearwater Seafoods Ltd. Partnership of Bedford, Nova Scotia, and the assessment, expected to take 12 to 14 months, is being conducted by independent certifier Moody Marine Ltd.
"We pride ourselves on being the industry leader in providing premium quality, hardshell, fully meated lobster to the marketplace and in employing science and technology to perfect our lobster-friendly handling and storage systems," says Clearwater CEO Colin MacDonald. "As a company, we are committed to sustainable fisheries, and we are now seeking the MSC eco-label as a means to demonstrate to our customers the sustainability of this fishery, which we feel is among the best managed lobster fisheries in the world."
This is the second Eastern Canadian fishery to enter the MSC full assessment process this week - the offshore sea scallop fishery is the other.
Maine's lobster fishery is also engaged in the MSC program.
More than 120 fisheries are engaged in the London-based MSC program - 31 are certified, 73 are under assessment and another 20 to 30 are in confidential pre-assessment. Collectively, the fisheries produce more than 5 million metrics tons of seafood. Worldwide, more than 1,600 seafood products bear the MSC eco-label.