The first whole lobsters which are certified sustainable are going on sale in the UK, just in time for Christmas, for under £5. 

The lobsters, which have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for the sustainable fishing practices used to catch them, will be on sale at Lidl for £4.99.

They come from New Brunswick in Canada, where the fishery is managed to protect healthy stocks with a season of just two months to make sure numbers are buoyant and the crustaceans are in the best possible condition.

Fishermen based in villages along the shoreline fish in small boats around 35ft long, using baited traps which are fitted with escape panels to reduce the number of undersized lobsters that are caught in them and help other species escape.

The panels are biodegradable to reduce the chance of “ghost fishing” by traps that are lost.

The fishery also bans the landing of undersized lobsters and females with eggs to ensure they are returned to the sea to breed, the MSC certification assessment found.

Lobster freezes well, and the New Brunswick lobsters are cooked and frozen locally before being shipped to the UK for sale at Lidl.
Tony Middleton, programme director of the north-east Atlantic for the MSC, said: “Lidl have worked closely with the MSC over the past year to build up their range of MSC-certified fish and shellfish.

“That hard work is really paying off with 41 of their wild seafood products now MSC labelled, a 24% increase on 2014.

“It’s a real commitment to demonstrably sustainable sourcing that is providing a benefit to their customers.”

Alexandra Scholes, fish and seafood buyer for Lidl said: “We first introduced Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) products into our stores in 2006 and have continually expanded this range ever since.

“We are proud to be the first British supermarket to sell MSC-assured whole lobster, and in addition to this 100% of our fresh ongoing (wild caught) fish is MSC certified and labelled and this range is available in stores all year round.”

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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