By Ramona du Houx

September 10, 2012

U.S. Rep. Pingree with Ready Seafood co-owner John Ready talk about how the Congresswoman managed to get a cruse ship to purchase local lobster

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree visited Ready Seafood in Portland this morning as two dozen workers sorted and packed lobster to be delivered to the cruise ship Celebrity Summit, which is berthed next door at the Ocean Gateway terminal.

“I hope the shipment this morning is just the beginning of a long and productive relationship between the cruise ship industry and Mainelobstermen,” said Pingree. “So far we’ve seen orders for about 9,000 pounds of local lobster and I think the market is much bigger than that.”

This morning, the Celebrity Summit took on the first shipment of what will eventually be 3,800 pounds of lobster during several visits to Maine. Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Lines told Pingree that they plan to buy over 5,000 pounds of Maine lobster in conjunction with visits by the Norwegian Dawn to Maine.

Maine local lobsters being loaded onto a cruse ship in Portland Maine- this kind of sale is helping local businesses.

Last month Pingree wrote to the CEOs of all the cruise ship companies visiting Maine, urging them to buy local lobster during port calls in Maine.

“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 her letter.

John Ready, of Ready Seafood, said Pingree’s efforts are creating a good opportunity for the Maine lobster industry.

“We’ve been trying for three years to get our foot in the door with the cruise ship industry,” said Ready. “We really appreciate Congresswoman Pingree stepping up and making this happen.”