How sustainable lobster is making an influence on Chinese language New Yr

Emily Tripp on February 3, 2017 – 11:32 am in Sustainable seafood

Lunar New Yr celebrations started 28 January and proceed for 2 weeks – it’s the longest vacation on the Chinese language calendar. This time celebrations mark the Yr of the Rooster, however I’m right here to speak about one other animal necessary to Chinese language New Yr: lobster.

On high of the parades, lion dances and lanterns, meals additionally performs an necessary function in New Yr celebrations, and particular gadgets are all the time included. Dumplings and spring rolls carry wealth, longevity noodles signify a protracted life, and fish symbolises a rise in prosperity. However in China, the place the color purple is taken into account fortunate, lobsters are showing increasingly, particularly as a part of New Yr’s Eve household feasts.

Fortunate lobsters

Lobsters have grow to be a well-liked merchandise for New Yr’s Eve household dinners for a lot of causes. Not solely do they flip purple when cooked, additionally they resemble dragons, that are closely featured in New Yr festivities. And in China, the place lobsters are imported and costlier than native seafood, they function a standing image.

Sustainable lobster in blue crate at Maine Coast wholesalersMy colleague, Gao Rui, Communications Supervisor in China, advised us that the lobsters are normally steamed, baked with butter, or served as sashimi. She additionally stated that it’s necessary to maintain the pinnacle and tail on the plate.

The lobster’s journey

Figuring out entire lobsters are closely featured throughout this vacation, I visited Maine Coast to speak about transport entire, reside lobsters midway internationally. Maine Coast, a reside lobster wholesaler positioned in York, Maine, maintains year-round provide by working with lobstermen all through the coasts of Maine and Atlantic Canada.

Lobsters arrive, normally by the truckload, and get sorted by measurement and shell high quality. They’re then positioned in crates that maintain about 90 kilos of lobster and returned to the water to await transport.

Left: lobsters sit in a crate after being sorted by size. Right: crates of lobster it in water baths awaiting shipping

Left: lobsters sit in a crate after being sorted by measurement. Proper: crates of lobster it in water baths awaiting transport

Maine Coast sells lobster regionally, nationally, and internationally. A lot of the lobster that goes overseas leads to China and a not insignificant portion of that occurs throughout Chinese language New Yr.

As seafood exports to China have continued to extend, lobsters have gone from touring overseas on freight planes to hitching a journey on business passenger flights.

Rising demand and sustainability

This 12 months, the demand for Homarus americanus was so excessive that Chinese language patrons ordered three chartered planes stuffed with lobster. The planes left from Halifax Airport in Canada, flew for about 19 hours, and landed in Zhengzhou, capital of the central province of Henan. After clearing customs, the lobsters have been then distributed to their ultimate locations, together with Shanghai and Beijing.

Shoppers in Asia need recent, protected, prime quality seafood. To make sure all of those qualities, they need it to be traceable. And that’s the place MSC may help open doorways.

“MSC [certification] differentiates us from related merchandise,” Lyle Brown, Asian gross sales supervisor at Maine Coast, defined. Patrons in China and different elements of Asia “desire a licensed ‘inexperienced’ product and that’s what the MSC does.”

So, someday between now and 15 February, rejoice the Yr of the Rooster by steaming a tasty, purple, dragon-like, licensed sustainable lobster.Maine Coast processing worker holding live sustainable lobster in front of crates












Emily Tripp

Emily Tripp

Emily is the MSC Communications Supervisor, USA

Emily Tripp

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