Maine lobster businesses star at Seafood Expo

First published in Landings, April, 2015.

MLMC marketing director Marianne LaCroix, left, and office manager Kara Morrison, right, cheerfully greeting visitors to the MLMC booth. Photo by P. McCarron.

MLMC marketing director Marianne LaCroix, left, and office manager Kara Morrison, right, cheerfully greeting visitors to the MLMC booth. Photo by P. McCarron.

The Boston Seafood Show, now known as Seafood Expo North America, is always a March highlight. The Expo draws seafood producers and buyers from throughout the world for a three-day cornucopia of everything related to seafood harvesting, distribution and consumption.

This year fourteen Maine lobster businesses and one organization exhibited at the show, along with the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC). More than 25,000 people attended, with a record number of exhibitors and amount of floor space sold. The mood at the show was positive and energized, as masses of buyers and seafood suppliers jammed the aisles.

“Maine lobster was certainly a star of the show,” said Matt Jacobson, executive director of the MLMC.  “Global interest in our harvesters and value-adding processors and dealers has never been higher. It is an exciting time in Maine’s lobster industry.”

In addition to the Maine companies that had booths, others from Maine came to walk the aisles and get up to speed on the latest trends. As always, sustainability was a large part of the messaging from the seafood suppliers, and there continued to be a strong emphasis on traceability as well as on new products geared toward convenience at both the food service and retail levels.

“It was a great show this year,” Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, said. “I barely had a chance to catch up with many of the Maine companies because they were so busy talking with buyers. That’s a good problem to have.”

Seafood ExpoGovernor LePage was joined by Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher and Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais to tour the show and visit with Maine’s exhibitors. On Monday evening, the MLMC hosted a Maine Lobster Reception at the Boston Fish Pier attended by more than 200 dealers and buyers of Maine lobster. Gov. LePage addressed the audience and spoke about the broad appeal of Maine’s signature seafood. He beamed with pride as he proclaimed Maine lobster to be the best lobster in the world.