NEWPORT, RI – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed joined with lobstermen and women in Newport at the Lobster Shack on Pier Nine to celebrate the first annual National Lobster Day.  The Newport Lobster Shack Kitchen is a co-op that serves seafood that is freshly caught by local fishermen and prepared in a dockside kitchen.

In early August, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution designating Friday, September 25, 2015 as “National Lobster Day.”  The resolution, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Susan Collins (R-ME), and five New England colleagues, recognizes the historic and economic importance of the lobster industry to Rhode Island and other states, and invited lobster lovers to mark their culinary calendars for the last Friday in September.

“We’re proud of our local lobstermen and women and the economic activity they generate.  These businesses are unique and irreplaceable.  For generations, their hard work, resiliency, and dedication have been a vital part of our coastal communities.  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,” said Senator Reed, who enjoyed lobster bisque, lobster cakes, and a lobster roll.

According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), lobster typically ranks as Rhode Island’s second most valuable commercial fishery, behind squid.  Last year, Rhode Island lobstermen hauled in roughly 2.4 million pounds of lobster with a value of $11.5 million.  As Rhode Island-landed lobster are processed and move into the wholesale and retail markets, the total value of the fishery increases substantially – likely approaching $30 million – making it a crucial part of the state’s economy.

Nationally, more than 120 million pounds of lobster are caught each year in U.S. waters, representing one of the country’s most valuable catches.