Program attempts to keep the seafood industry local

PORTLAND, Maine (NECN) -- Coastal New England is known for it's seafood industry, but most of the seafood we eat in this country is actually imported.

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute is trying give local seafood a boost with a program that promotes fish caught in the Gulf of Maine.

555 is one of 13 culinary partners in the Gulf of Maine Research Institute's sustainable seafood program. They say they believe promoting sustainable local seafood is "the right thing to do."

The program begins in the Gulf of Maine - fishermen from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod work together with a commitment to improve the environment and maintain sustainable practices.

It means hauling in species that aren't over-fished, like Pollock, Dogfish, or Acadian Red Fish. It also means finding ways to be better stewards of the sea, using more environmentally friendly nets or cutting fuel use.

For seafood processors like Bristol, it means switching to biodegradable plastic for packaging.

According to Jen Levin, who runs to program at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, everyone along the supply chain has to commit to the rules and goals - fishermen, processors, dealers, and retailers.

At the end of the chain, consumers can look for a seal that will indicate exactly where their seafood came from.

An impact report showed more than $52 million dollars in sales from responsibly harvested products that are part of the program. It's an ongoing effort, and more partners are signing on each year.

Click here for a guide that can help you choose ocean-friendly seafood anywhere you live or travel.


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