In terms of sustainability, the Maine lobster fishery is top notch, and has been for well over a century! It is a certified sustainable fishery, put in place to maintain healthy lobster populations, so that Maine lobsters are not over fished to the point where lobster reproduction and juvenile lobster growth rates would no longer sustain the demand. Legally harvested lobsters must have a carapace that is 3.25 inches long, minimum, but no longer than 5 inches, maximum. Anything that does not meet this requirement is thrown back. This allows juvenile lobsters to stay in Maine waters until maturity, and large lobsters to continue to breed. In addition, any egg-baring females must be v-notched and thrown back. All of these regulations are to keep Maine lobsters at healthy levels for years to come.
Lobster is Maine’s largest fishery and seafood export. Our economy is dependent on this crustacean – so taking into account the sustainability of this fishery, as well as the ocean ecosystem in which lobsters reside, is hugely important.
Fun fact: prior to the lobster’s popularity and demand, we once fed lobsters to state prisoner in the 1800’s, imagine that!?