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September 25, 2017 designated as 'National Lobster Day'

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution that designates Monday, September 25, 2017 as “National Lobster Day.” (AP photo)

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution that designates Monday, September 25, 2017 as “National Lobster Day.”

A press release noted that the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, as well as seven of their New England colleagues, recognizes the historic and economic importance of the lobster industry to Rhode Island and other coastal states.

“This is a fitting tribute to our local lobstermen and women and the important economic impact lobsters have on Rhode Island’s economy. As consumer demand for sustainably harvested, wild-caught New England lobsters continues to grow, ‘National Lobster Day’ offers an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate an industry that supports hundreds of Rhode Island families and helps bring tourists to the area to enjoy delicious, freshly caught lobster and seafood,” Reed said. “It will also help showcase Rhode Island’s culinary diversity and boost sales. Whether you enjoy lobster fresh off the boat, or with fresh-made pasta, Rhode Island offers plenty of ways to join the celebration.”

Whitehouse shared similar sentiments.

“National Lobster Day is a great time to remember that the lobsters caught off of Rhode Island are some of the best on the East Coast, and we’re fortunate to have no shortage of first-rate restaurants to serve them up,” Whitehouse said. “Although warming seas have contributed to the reduction of our lobster landings by half in the last twenty years, I’ll continue to do everything in my power to make sure lobstermen and other Rhode Island fishermen, who make enormous contributions to the local economy, will continue to find healthy stocks off our coast and be able to call Rhode Island ports home for decades to come.”

While lobster populations are declining in Southern New England, Reed and Whitehouse have vowed to make Rhode Island’s lobster fishing industry a priority in Congress.

“They helped secure $475,000 in federal funds to support research projects aimed at improving the sustainability of local fisheries,” according to the release.

The release also noted that nearly 150 million pounds of lobster are caught each year in U.S waters, representing one of the country’s most valuable catches.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management reported that lobster typically ranks as Rhode Island's second most valuable commercial fishery, behind squid. Lobster landings in Rhode Island in 2015 totaled 2.5 million pounds.

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