(Marnie MacLean, NECN: Freeport, ME) – The international credit freeze is having a crippling effect on Maine’s lobster industry. Off-the-boat prices are as low as they’ve been in decades. Many fishermen say it’s no longer worth it to haul their traps. Still despite the rough waters, a woman with a famous last name is betting her branding will provide a better future for Maine’s lobster industry. This is Linda bean’s perfect Maine. The mid-coast Maine fishing village of Port Clyde. A place of unparalleled beauty, and a working waterfront. “I fell in love with the whole peninsula” Linda Bean is the granddaughter of L.L. Bean, the founder of one of Maine’s most successful companies.
A company that knows a thing or two about branding. Now, Linda is taking that family history and her name, and putting it on lobsters. In Port Clyde, it’s fishing…and last year, Linda bought a lobster business…the wharf, the pound….and an education. Linda learned the basics…but quickly decided she wanted to do more than sell lobsters. she created a brand. Linda Bean’s perfect Maine lobster was born– and every lobster that leaves her dock has a custom tag. Bean says seafood buyers are demanding traceability of product…and sustainability of the industry. She is part of a group actively pushing for certification from the prestigious Marine Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization that promotes responsible fishing practices. It’s a designation she feels is crucial to the future of Maine’s lobster business.