Certifier : 
Global Trust Certification Ltd.
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
16 Jul 2013
Certificate expires : 
29 Aug 2024


Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-0746 American lobster (Homarus americanus) Traps - Pots 21 (Atlantic, Northwest) MSC-F-31401 (F-SAI-010)

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Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
American lobster (Homarus americanus) 2022 6,714.6

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

About this Fishery

Atlantic Lobster (Homarus americanus) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

The American lobster is distributed from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina to Newfoundland to the Strait of Belle Isle that separates Labrador and Newfoundland. It inhabits areas from the water line out to the edge of the continental shelf. 

The American lobster is among the largest of all marine crustaceans, sometimes growing to lengths of 60cm and weighing over 18kg. It is also considered the longest-living crustacean, capable of reaching ages up to 50 years.

Lobster fishing is an important industry for the 11,000 inhabitants of the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off the east coast of Canada. There are 325 registered vessels harvesting lobster in the fishery. In total, the primary and secondary lobster processing sectors provide employment to around 10% of the islands’ population.

Lobster are caught in baited traps. These are set by lines (strings) with a minimum of 7 traps per line, a maximum 8 fathoms (14m) between each trap and 56 fathoms (102m) from the first to the last trap. The lines must carry buoys marked with the fishing vessel registration number. The lobster fishing season in the area is restricted to the months of May and June.

Market Information

The main commercial market for Magdalen Islands lobster is Quebec with the majority sold fresh.