MONTREAL, May 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebec's lobster industry proudly announces the arrival of Quebec lobsters in fish markets to please consumer taste buds. Commercial fishermen and processors of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine and Gaspésie have put all their pride and know-how into providing Quebec consumers with lobsters that offer more freshness, more meat and more flavour.
Once again this year, Quebec lobsters have a way to get consumers' attention. Their white elastic claw bands identify them as "King of Quebec shellfish" with the Aliments du Québec logo. Certifying the Quebec origins and authenticity of Quebec lobster, the white elastic bands will also help consumers to easily find them at fish markets and other seafood counters.
"Proud of a successful first year, this year we want to ensure that Quebecers will know they are buying the best lobsters if they choose those with an elastic band on their claws showing the Aliments du Québec logo. The logo is visible on the claw elastics of this famous Quebec shellfish so people can distinguish them from those from elsewhere," explains Jean-Paul Gagné, President of the Table des pêches maritimes du Québec and General Manager of the AQIP.
Quebec lobster: for its size, its freshness and its succulent meat
Commercial fishermen in Quebec have made considerable efforts in developing conservation methods and protecting their lobster resources. They have increased the minimum legal size of the shellfish to allow their distinctive character, quality and value to develop. A Quebec lobster measures a minimum of 82 mm from behind the eye to the edge of the cephalothorax, so it surpasses its competitors with its larger size and weight, which ranges, on average, from 1 lb. to 1 3/4 lbs. - the ideal weight for consumption," says O'Neil Cloutier, CEO, Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du Sud de la Gaspésie.
Lobster is caught in Quebec from late April until July in unpolluted cold water with a rocky seabed by fishermen applying some of the most advanced and innovative conservation measures in the world. "Quebec fishermen, very concerned about survival, not only of their profession, but by this resource, have voluntarily agreed to reduce their traps and release all lobsters that are not the proper size as well as egg-carrying females. The industry has also developed excellent preservation methods on board boats and in processing plants to make delivery from sea to plate as fast as possible to preserve the delicate flavour of Quebec lobster," says Léonard Poirier, General Manager of the Association des pêcheurs propriétaires des Iles-de-la-Madeleine.
To mark the 2009 arrival of Quebec lobster, the fishing and processing industry invite their distribution and marketing partners to come for a Quebec lobster tasting on May 7, accompanied by Mr. Laurent Lessard, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the press, at the Hélène de Champlain restaurant in Montreal. The next day, May 8, the industry will receive their partners and the press in the Quebec City region during a promotional lobster dinner at the Plaza Hotel.
Just like last year, the 2009 arrival of Quebec lobster will be supported by an advertising campaign conducted by Gendron Communication, encouraging consumers to choose Quebec lobster. Connoisseurs and those just beginning to enjoy lobster can pick up a brochure in major supermarket chains and in close to 100 seafood markets in Quebec that promote the exceptional qualities of Quebec lobster. The website www.quebeclobster.com offers a wide selection of recipes, each one more delicious than the next. Also, consumers will be encouraged to purchase Quebec lobster in their neighbourhood fish markets through advertisements on many radio stations.
For those who prefer to sample the best lobster without having to cook, rest assured, many restaurants in Quebec are true lovers of Quebec lobster and they will offer this delicious shellfish on their menus! Before ordering your lobster, don't hesitate to ask where it comes from.
Lastly, by visiting one of the 140 participating SAQ locations, consumers will find how perfectly Quebec lobster and Kim Crawford wines go together and get a chance to win a lobster dinner for 8 people.
L'Office des pêcheurs de homards des Iles-de-la-Madeleine
Association québécoise de l'industrie de la pêche
Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie