MSC certification system imposes $100,000 tax on Maine Lobster Industry
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [News Analysis] by John Sackton - Sept. 9, 2014
This week a curious news item came across our desk. The Maine Lobster industry was applying for Marine Stewardship council certification as a sustainable fishery.
This seemed odd, because just last year, Governor LePage made a big splash at the Boston Seafood Show announcing the Maine Lobster fishery had been recognized by the MSC.
Why the do over? The fishery has not changed. The area of certification is exactly the same. And yet, an industry group consisting of the Mazzetta Company, Craig’s All Natural, East Coast Seafood, Garbo Seafood, Cozy Harbor Seafood, Inland Seafood and Orion Seafood - in short the great majority of the major lobster processors in Maine were willing to put up around $100,000 to cover the cost of a new assessment.
This money is an unnecessary tax. It will go to support the bureaucratic regime set up by the Marine Stewardship Council, NGO’s who advise buyers and the burgeoning certification assessment industry.
It will not result in one penny for better lobster conservation, improved science, or gear research for bycatch reduction. In fact it will hinder the science resources available to the lobster fishery as Maine scientists and others have to spend time re-answering questions they answered for the first time a few years ago.
Lets take a look at how this happened, and who benefits from this travesty.
First, the MSC, while not directly assessing client fisheries, sets the rules and policies under which the assessments take place...
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