Cruise News - Holland America Line - Maine Local Lobster
August 14 - 2012 : Maine Urges Visiting Cruise Lines to Buy Local Lobster – Holland America Signs On – by Greg Latimer
A Congresswoman from Maine is urging cruise ships to treat their passengers to a fresh lobster dinner when they stop at cruise ports in the “vacationland state”.
Holland America was the first cruise line to step up on Tues., Aug. 14 and agree to “embark” tasty local lobsters in Bar Harbor (Maine) for the purpose of cooking them up and serving them to passengers for dinner.
The availability of fresh local lobsters will greatly enhance the preparation choices for Holland America’s onboard chefs. These lobsters will have been harvested from the clear, cold ocean waters off Bar Harbor sometimes only a few hours before landing in the ship’s kitchen still alive and kicking.
Congresswoman Pingree’s plea to cruise lines was in apparent response to a market glut of lobster in the state caused by large catches early in the season due to unusually warm water temperatures, and a short feud with Canadian lobstermen, Rep. Pingree (D) is hoping cruise lines will consider adding the iconic crustacean to their locally purchased menu items. The fresh lobsters will also be a great deal, as the overabundance of lobster on the market has caused a drop in prices.
The letter was sent to the owners of 15 cruise ship lines that visit the state, according to Pingree’s office, but the Portland (Maine) cruise port and some cruise lines were addressed more directly.
"I am writing to you today to strongly urge you to consider buying fresh-off-the-boat Maine lobster when the Carnival Glory calls in (Portland) Maine this year,” Pingree wrote.
“Maine lobstermen are in the middle of a record-breaking season. Not only does the ample supply guarantee a good value for your company, but purchasing locally sourced seafood would set a great example for other companies like yours in strengthening Maine’s economy and coastal communities,” Pingree wrote. “In fact, the vitality of our fishing industry is inextricably linked to the health and character of the coastal communities that entice and thrill your passengers."
Pingree said she wrote the letter because the cruise ship industry serves a lot of lobster to its passengers, but ships visiting Portland (Maine) haven't typically taken advantage of local lobster suppliers while in port.
"This could be a big untapped market for wholesalers in the area," Pingree said. "And sometimes in a situation like this you just have to get the attention of the head of these big corporations to get them to notice what we have to offer here in Maine."
Fifteen cruise ships are scheduled to make a total of sixty visits to Portland (Maine) this year. The other large and popular cruise destination is Bar Harbor in the “downeast” part of the state. There are many other smaller ports in Maine visited by companies like American Cruise Lines.