For $2,995, consumers can own a Maine lobster trap and all the lobsters it catches for an entire year through the Premium Trap program from Catch a Piece of Maine.
As “partners,” as the company calls them, customers of the program are assigned a dedicated lobsterman who will fish their trap throughout the 32-week season. Everything he catches is tracked with a colour-coded band placed on the lobsters’ claws, and all data is recorded online so that the partner can view their trap’s activity, manage their catch and schedule shipments from anywhere. As lobsters are caught by the trap, the partner’s account grows; as lobsters are requested for shipment, it decreases again. Lobsters can be shipped in batches of four as soon as they are caught, or they can be saved for later (in which case the company will substitute one just caught for the original); either way, details are included on when, where and by whom they were obtained.
Catch a Piece of Maine guarantees at least 48 1.5 lb lobsters for each partner—totalling over 70bs.—and also 12 lbs. steamer clams, 12 lbs. mussels, and 48 servings of Maine-made desserts over the course of the year. All shipments are sent via FedEx overnight delivery throughout the continental U.S.; shipping costs are included in the fee.
Partners are even invited to come aboard the company’s lobster boat in Maine if they can, to meet the lobstermen and experience the harvest first-hand. Corporate gifts and single-meal orders are also available, and Catch a Piece of Maine donates 10 percent of its profits to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, educating 5th and 6th grade students about the Maine lobster industry.
At a time when local fishermen are struggling to make a living, Catch a Piece of Maine’s partnership program allows lobstermen to receive a premium for their product while also preserving their sustainable fishing methods, the company says.
No less significantly, it also gives consumers an active hand in what has typically been a hands-off business. Finally, it dovetails nicely with the still made here trend, giving consumers a geographical connection and a story to tell about the source of their food.
Photo by marsy.