Maine's lobster industry is expected to have some advantage over the Maritime's this coming season with its new environmentally-sustainable certification.
The Maine lobster industry was recently awarded Marine Stewardship Council certification. Jeff Malloy, president of the P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association, said this stamp of sustainability is becoming increasingly important to buyers in the US and Europe.
"I don't think it will take a huge bite," said Malloy.
"In the short-term, I mean, it won't affect our canner products at all because there are no canners in Maine. It will certainly have an effect somewhat on customers looking for meat and tails. But we're hoping that the effects of that are not great at this point."
The P.E.I. industry began the process of MSC certification several years ago, but put it on hold for a while. Malloy said his group is not second guessing that decision now that the Maine industry has become one of the first in the northeast to get it.
"No one likes to fall behind," he said.
"But you have to understand there's plenty of other certification bodies out there. Some of them better than others. You know, a lot of the different fisheries were taking a look to see which one was going to come out more or less on top. The MSC isn't a perfect one either. But I guess right now it's the best out there and the most recognizable so it's the one that most people are going with."
Malloy said any advantage the Maine industry gains should evaporate when other regions get their certification. Most of the Maritimes is expecting certification in the next 14 to 16 months.
Malloy said the high cost of MSC certification is one reason P.E.I. delayed. It can cost up to $250,000.