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Maine lobster is eco-friendly!
Growing numbers of consumers want to make sure the seafood they eat is harvested using methods that help sustain the resource and protect the ocean environment.
If you're one of them, you'll love eco-friendly lobster from Maine!
For generations, Maine lobster harvesters have taken pride in their ecologically sound methods. That's why they still harvest lobsters the old-fashioned way, with each harvester hauling in 250 to 300 traps a day, one trap at a time. It takes longer and the work is harder than dragging the ocean floor, but Maine lobster harvesters are committed to preserving, rather than disrupting, the marine environment.
Maine lobster harvesters also use methods that help sustain this valuable resource.
To help make sure lobsters will be plentiful for years to come, harvesters measure every lobster for minimum (since 1921) and maximum (since 1935) size, and then return both young females and large, healthy breeders to the sea.
They also use a painless process called V-notching (since 1917) to put a small mark in the tail flipper of "berried," or egg-bearing, females. Other harvesters know that a V-notched lobster must be thrown back into the water, protecting her from harvesting -- and allowing her to reproduce and replenish the stock -- until she outgrows the notch.
In fact, Maine harvesters are so committed to conserving the lobster resource that in 1961 they established the "Maine Lobster Seed Fund" to buy back -- and return to the sea -- female lobsters that extrude eggs after landing. The fund is also dedicated to industry research.
Maine lobster harvesters protect this natural resource in other ways as well. For example, sometimes lobster traps are "lost" at sea with lobsters already inside. So, since 1990, Maine harvesters have used traps with biodegradable panels that allow lobsters to escape from "lost" traps. Today's harvesters also use traps with escape vents, enabling lobsters under minimum size to swim back out -- and grow to legal size. And since 1996 harvesters have established zone management councils to help create a more stringent management strategy at the local level. Zoning has limited the number of new harvesters allowed to enter the fishery, and even reduced the number of traps that can be fished within each zone.
Harvesters from Maine work hard to catch the lobsters we love to eat. They also work hard to make sure the marine environment stays healthy and that this delicious natural resource can be enjoyed today and for many years to come.
That's why we can proudly say lobster from Maine not only tastes great - itís eco-friendly! Enjoy!
Via Maine Lobster Promotion Council
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