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American Lobster

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Green
Second choice
Avoid
Bycatch
Informatie over vissoort
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General

Lobsters and crayfish

Lobsters live in saltwater whilst crayfish live in freshwater habitats. Lobsters and crayfish are most often caught using pots or traps. Most lobsters are equipped with ten legs and two scissors as front legs. With these scissors, they are able to grab, cut or crack their food. Did you know lobsters and crayfish, just lie snakes, change their skin because their shell does not grow with their bodies? After changing their shell the animal grows fast and increases in weight.

There are many different lobster species. Most common are the American lobster in the north-western Atlantic ocean, and the European lobster in the north-eastern Atlantic ocean. Lobsters have a relatively slow growth rate and reach sexual maturity at a late age. Another frequently consumed lobster is the Norway lobster. This species is way smaller than the American and European lobster. This species occurs in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and parts of the Mediterranean sea.

 

 

American Lobster

The American lobster can be found along the north-eastern coast of Canada up to the USA. These scavengers can reach sizes up to 60 cm and weigh up to 20 kg. The lobsters make their homes in holes between rocks on rocky ocean floors. The American lobster is quite similar to the European lobster but can be distinguished by the spines on their claws. While the American lobster has red spines on its claws, the European lobster has white spines on its claws.

 

American Lobster

Homarus americanus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-west (FAO 21)

Farming- / Catch method

Pots and traps

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Explanation assessment

This fishery has an MSC label. We do not rate certified fisheries according to the VISwijzer method. Therefore, these fisheries have a separate category on the VISwijzer and receive no rating of color.

Both in Canada and in the United States, several lobster fisheries are MSC Certified. There is a lot of fishing for American lobster in these two countries, but this fishery is not considered a threat to the lobster stock. Lobsters are sensitive to fishing pressure because they grow slowly and only become sexually mature at a later age.

All MSCMSC:
Marine Stewardship Council, an independent, international non-profit organization that has developed an eco-label that guarantees well-managed, sustainable fisheries. Fish products that meet the criteria of the eco-label can be identified by the blue MSC logo.
American lobster is caught using potsPots/clay pots:
Clay pots are used in southern Europe to catch octopus. The animals crawl into the pots to use it as shelter, after which the fisherman collects the pots. This is a selective fishing method that does not damage the soil.
and [traps]. This fishing technique is selective with little bycatches. Unwanted caught species can easily be released with a high survival rate. This fishing technique causes little damage to the environment.

Management of the lobster stock is largely effective.

Fish in season

Fish in season is the best quality at that time because the spawning period is over.

American Lobster

Homarus americanus
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-west (FAO 21)

Farming- / Catch method

Pots and traps

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

American lobster is heavily fished in the United States and Canada, but so far the species is not overfishedOverfished:
A stock is overfished when the stock size has decreased so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
. Lobsters are sensitive to fishing pressure because they grow slowly and only become sexually mature at a later age. For this reason, this section is rated orange.

Lobsters are mainly caught with potsPots/clay pots:
Clay pots are used in southern Europe to catch octopus. The animals crawl into the pots to use it as shelter, after which the fisherman collects the pots. This is a selective fishing method that does not damage the soil.
and [traps]. In the USA, fishing with this technique poses a great risk to northern right whales, which regularly become entangled in the lines of the pots. The status of the northern right whale is currently in such a critical state, that every lost northern right whale is one too many. For this reason, the ecosystem effects section is given a red score.

The management of the lobster stock is covered by the ASMFCASMFC:
The ASMFC is the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, an organization that focuses on the management of fish stocks along the Atlantic coast of the United States.
and is largely effective. This section receives a green score.

The final assessment for this species is red. We therefore recommend avoiding eating American lobster from this fishery and opting for an alternative with a green or orange score.

Fish in season 

Fish is in season when the spawning period has ended, as the quality is then at its best.

 

 

 

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.

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