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Canadian Lobster Fishery Achieves MSC Certification

Sustainability Post-harvest +2 more

CANADA - Clearwater Seafoods says it is the first Canadian lobster fishery to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

Eastern Canadian Offshore Lobster is the newest addition to the family of Clearwater Seafoods to offer Marine Stewardship Council certified offerings, joining Canadian Sea scallops, Argentine Scallops and Canadian Coldwater Shrimp.

This latest certification is scientific recognition these lobster, which have been central to Clearwater's global reputation as a premium shellfish producer, meet the strict environmental standards set by the MSC and are being harvested and managed in a sustainable and well-managed fishery.

Marine Stewardship Council CEO, Rupert Howes, "I am delighted the Eastern Canadian offshore lobster fishery has met the MSC standard and congratulate the fishers, management agency and Clearwater Seafoods on this successful certification. This lobster fishery becomes the 8th certified Canadian fishery and the 82nd in the world. With increased demand for credible, certified, sustainable seafood choices around the world, I have no doubt that MSC recognition will add value to this fourth MSC-certified species for Clearwater Seafoods. I wish Clearwater every success."

Lobster has become synonymous with Clearwater in many of its markets around the globe.

CEO Ian Smith, explained: "Lobster was our first offering when the business began over 30 years ago. The variety of species offerings has grown but lobster is still the iconic species of the company and continues to set the standard in our export markets.

"This is a good thing. Clearwater's reputation for hard-shelled, full-meated lobsters in our various export markets have set the standard for not just our other offerings but for competitors as well."

Clearwater's ongoing innovation in the lobster industry continues to set the standard.

Mr Smith continued: " Dry land pounds made year round availability of consistent premium healthy lobsters a reality for restaurant operators half way around the globe in Japan and China. The use of innovative and proprietary meat-scanning technologies continues to set Clearwater apart in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

Operating in a sustainable fashion has always been standard practice for Clearwater. The Eastern offshore fishery is the first north Atlantic lobster fishery to achieve Marine Stewardship Council certification. Clearwater owns 100 per cent of the off-shore licences – giving it sole right to carry and market the MSC certification.

He added: "We're also committed to working with the inshore fishery to commit to help achieve MSC certification. That would be ideal. Our offshore catch is limited and the inshore fishery is a key component of our global lobster sales. In order for us to carry the MSC sustainability message on all our lobster offerings, the inshore fishery needs to become fully certified."

He explained it as a classic case of 'when the tide comes in, all the boats rise'. Clearwater believes Canadian lobster has been undervalued in the marketplace and hopes the new certification will improve differentiation and customer demand.

Mr Smith said: "Even as the global economy struggles to recover there is evidence chefs and consumers are becoming increasingly eco-conscious. The Clearwater logo on our lobster has always stood for consistent full-meated lobster. The MSC certification is the added assurance our customers are making the best possible choice."

Wally Ganzi, co-owner of The Palm Restaurants, has been doing business with Clearwater for years, explained: "The quality and consistency of Clearwater Lobsters is amazing. Clearwater's team approach and promotional support has helped us grow our business. Clearwater is also exceptional in helping us provide our customers with a premium seafood product that is of superior quality and taste."

Clearwater lobster innovations in recent years include the introduction of their Nova Scotia Prime Lobster – raw lobster in a variety of in-shell and meat-only formats.

"Prior to this the lobster choices for chefs were pretty much limited to live. That meant handling and logistics challenges as well as possible mortality or losses from under or over estimating the number of guests in any particular evening. Today restaurants and large banquets can expand their lobster menus to include creative appetizers using lobster meat, or a split lobster accompanying a salad or steak for a new twist on the classic surf'n turf menu offering.

Mr Smith summed up, saying: "Lobster has grown up. It's not the lone lobster item on the menu with 'Market Price' next to it. It's more accessible and more flexible than ever before. Menu consulting offered by our corporate chef, lobster promotions and staff education and incentive programs delivered by our marketing and sales teams are expanding lobster beyond the traditional white table cloth restaurants and into many food service segments- including airline and cruise line catering."

The sustainability certification by the worlds most recognised and respected eco-label is further evidence of Clearwater's commitment and brand promise of being 'Dedicated to Sustainable Seafood Excellence'.