Supplier, Retailer Donate Monies to Maine Lobster Assessment
North Atlantic Lobster Co. of Danvers, Mass., today donated 10 percent of the estimated $200,000 needed to assess Maine's lobster fishery under the Marine Stewardship Council program, which certifies fisheries as well managed and sustainable.
L.L. Bean, Maine's renowned clothing and outdoor apparel retailer, has also contributed $50,000 to the effort. Linda Bean, granddaughter of L.L. Bean founder Leon Leonwood Bean and owner of Port Clyde Lobster in Port Clyde, Maine, and the Carver's Harbor lobster wharf and buying station in Vinalhaven, Maine, aims to raise $200,000 to cover the cost of the pre-assessment and final assessment of Maine's lobster fishery.
"It is especially impressive that Hank Rimkewicz of North Atlantic Lobster Co. has come forward in this strong way," says Bean. "Maine lobstering men and women observe practices important to sustainability, and the time has come for appropriate recognition."
Bean, George Lapointe, commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and John Hathaway, president and owner of Shucks Maine Lobster in Richmond, Maine, were appointed to a working group overseeing the assessment by Maine Gov. John Baldacci in February.
"Considering the great emphasis that society as a whole has placed on the importance of sustainability," says Rimkewicz, "it is absolutely essential that we as an industry responsibly address the issue."
More than 100 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program - 75 fisheries are undergoing the assessment process, and another 25 fisheries are already certified. Collectively, they annually represent more than 5 million metric tons of seafood, and there are nearly 1,500 MSC-labeled seafood products in 36 countries.
Independent, third-party certifier Moody Marine Ltd. of the United Kingdom is performing the assessment of Maine's lobster fishery.