North America’s lobster fishery is one of the most successful fisheries in the world, thanks to its highly regulated nature and robust conservation efforts. Canadian and US harvesters continue to use the ecologically sensitive approach of single baited traps attached to lines and hauled one trap at a time.
Fishery Management and Conservation
In Canada, conservation measures such as the protection of egg-bearing females have been around since the 1870s. While measures are tailored to each of our 41 Lobster Fishing Areas (LFAs), they include:
- Set number of licenses with fixed limits on the number of traps;
- Limited and staggered fishing seasons to protect summer moults;
- Minimum and sometimes maximum size limits;
- Trap designs that allow undersized lobsters to escape;
- Robust monitoring and enforcement of regulations.
In the United States, although managed differently, the fishery is also subject to strict regulations, including restricted season openings, protection for juvenile and egg-bearing females, minimum and maximum carapace size limits, and restrictions on the number and configuration of traps.
In recent years, all the major fishing areas in Canada and the United States achieved MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certification, providing independent verification that the fishery is well managed and sustainable. Westmorland achievement its MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification in 2014 and is a member of certified client groups in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Maine.
In recent years, we have taken active steps within our processing operations to reduce our environmental footprint, including the use of 100% recyclable packaging cartons, diverting shell waste to compost or for manufacturing by-products, reducing our water usage and increasing our energy efficiency.