N.L. snow crab certified as sustainable
Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab has been certified as sustainable seafood by the Marine Stewardship Council.
And industry insiders hope the certification will see the local product sold in more markets.
"This is absolutely the gold standard," said Chris Curran, the vice-president of sales and marketing at Ocean Choice International. "[It's] globally recognized in wild fisheries and absolutely the right organization for our industry to be working with collaboratively to get this fishery certified."
Curran said he hopes the designation will help make local snow crab appealing to more international markets.
"This is very, very important. A, because it's important that the industry recognizes itself as being sustainable, but B, because the customers expect it and deserve it as well."
Certification important for restaurants
Certifiably sustainable seafood has been increasingly in demand worldwide by wholesalers, retailers and restauranteurs.
"It's a really important thing. It's not only where it's coming from but there's a story behind it, and is the food sustainable?" said Jeremy Charles, the chef at Raymonds, a fine-dining restaurant in St. John's. "And how it's being harvested and processed."
"People want to be connected with their food," agreed Michelle Leblanc, the chef at Chinched Bistro, another St. John's restaurant.
"They want to know where the farm was or who's growing our produce and they love the story behind it all. And that leads all the way back to the fishery."
Curran said while the certification may give local snow crab a market advantage right now, he expects more buyers and consumers to increasingly demand the designation.