Fourteen major processors in the Maine lobster industry have renewed their Marine Stewardship Council certification.

The designation certifies that lobsters are harvested sustainably according to standards set by the international nonprofit. The council’s mission is to recognize and reward sustainable fishing practices, influence the choices people make when buying seafood and work with partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.

Matt Jacobson, executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, said the MSC certification is essential to the growth of Maine’s lobster industry.

“Consumers want it and it’s really kind of a global phenomena for folks,” Jacobson told Seafood News. “That’s the real driver behind why we talk so much about our sustainability practices. It’s such a demand amongst consumers and chefs that any way we can find to address it is important.”

The MSC certification helps consumers who don’t have the time to look up fisheries and species, but want to know they are eating sustainably sourced lobster. Jacobson says that the certification “bridges the gap between sales and marketing.”

Among the processors who renewed their certification were: Cape Bald Packers Ltd.; Cape Seafood LLC; Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods; Cozy Harbor Seafood Inc.; Craig’s All Natural LLC; D. C. Air & Seafood Inc.; East Coast Seafood LLC; Eastern Traders/Barry Group; Inland Seafood; Maine Coast; Raymond O’Neill & Son Fisheries Ltd.; Thai Union Canada Inc.; Maine Shellfish Co. Inc.; and Maine Lobster and Processing, LLC DBA Atwood Lobster LLC.

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