Sustainable Sandwich: Lobster Roll

March 26, 2013

At the recent Boston Seafood Show, Maine's Governor Paul LePage announced that Maine Lobster is now certified as sustainable by the London-based Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an international non-profit that works to define, certify and promote sustainable seafood. When purchasing seafood look for the MSC blue eco-label to ensure that what you’re buying was not overfished or harvested in a way that harms the ocean.

For years, Maine's lobster fishery system has been used as the model. Traps are placed on the ocean floor and rules and trap limits are set that ban keeping too big or too small lobsters, or egg-bearing females. Now the certification is official. But the industry could use some help in marketing their delicious product. Last year, Maine lobstermen had a record catch of 126 million pounds (worth $338 million), but the average price per pound they received was a mere $2.69/pound - the lowest since 1994.

"This places greater emphasis on the need for effective marketing and highlights the unique marketing advantage MSC certification provides," LePage said in a statement.

"The Maine lobster fishery has operated for centuries and today's announcement indicates the fishery's commitment to be viable for centuries to come," said Kerry Coughlin, regional director for MSC.

So, with lobster and grilling season around the corner it's time to start adding some tasty sustainable lobster recipes to your grilling repertoire, like this delicious lobster roll recipe!

Luke's Lobster Roll 
Recipe courtesy of Luke's Lobster

5 pounds of live Maine lobster (should yield 1 lb. of lobster meat)
Top-split New England-style hot dog buns (Country Kitchen or J.J. Nissen)
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 fresh lemon
 Few pinches of celery salt, oregano and black pepper
Steam the 5 pounds of lobster for 10-12 minutes, then pick lobster meat (should yield 1 pound of lobster meat).
Use top-split New England-style hot dog buns — butter the sides of 4 rolls and grill until golden brown.
Line inside of hot dog bun with some mayonnaise. Add 1/4 pound of prepared lobster meat, then drizzle a little melted butter on top of lobster.
Sprinkle a pinch of celery salt, pinch of oregano, and pinch of black pepper on top of lobster. Squeeze a little fresh lemon. Serve.

Update: Luke's Lobster has not yet been awarded MSC certification but is a strong supporter of sustainable lobster fishing and the Maine Lobstermen's Community Alliance.