Maine fishermen use baited lobster traps, called pots, which are lowered to the sea floor and are constructed to allow smaller lobsters to easily exit the trap. This style of fishing dates back several centuries and is responsible for the economic backbone of many towns and villages along coastal Maine. In fact, you can find a 100-year old Maine lobster trap hanging on our wall in Encinitas.
The Maine lobster fleet is comprised primarily of small boats between 22 and 42 feet in length that are operated by one or two people. Many lobster fishermen are family members who pass the license on from generation to generation. The number of Maine lobster fisherman has remained steady at approximately 6,700 licenses for more than half a century.
Maine lobsters are different from other lobster varieties and the laws that govern the Maine lobster fishing industry are very stringent. They carefully regulate size, quality, quantity, and time of year when lobster can be fished and therefore lobsters that are too small, too large, or pregnant are all released back to the ocean.
With more than 2,000 islands off the coast of Maine where lobster live, some of the specific places we source from include Portland, Deere Island, Boothbay, Bath and Vinalhaven.
At Lobster West, as part of our commitment to quality and responsible sourcing, we have dedicated a substantial amount of time and effort to tour facilities up and down the coast of Maine. We spent mornings on fishing boats, we met with all the suppliers who personally ship our product and inspected their facilities, then chose the most delicious lobster we could find that adheres to the strict standards of the Maine lobster fishing industry regulations. We are proud to have made the additional investment to ensure that our Maine lobster comes direct from the source – so that we can trace each and every lobster back to the specific harbor from which it came.
Maine Lobster Certification:
In March of 2013, The Maine lobster fishery earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification as a sustainable and well-managed fishery after a rigorous five-year review process. While many establishments claim to serve ‘Maine lobster’, it is too often not the case. At Lobster West we are committed to serving MSC-certified Maine Lobster.