At Luke's Lobster, we work to preserve and strengthen our coastal communities and bring you the world's best-tasting, sustainably sourced seafood for generations to come.
As part of that mission, we’ve partnered with theIsland instituteto work on a wide array of issues facing Maine’s coastal communities and build new markets for Maine’s premium seafood that will drive economic activity in coastal communities.
Through this partnership we will build resiliency in the seafood supply chain and provide opportunities for Maine’s fishermen and aquaculturists. This joint endeavor is a continuation of a longstanding collaboration; for years, Luke’s andIsland Institutehave worked to strengthen Maine’s coastal economies, partnering with fishermen and community leaders to improve resilience along the shore.
Our Impact -The Keeper Fund
The Keeper Fund is our philanthropic initiative at the intersection of our commitments to the Environment and Community. We recognize that a healthy ocean environment is critical to a strong coastal community and fishing industry, so we created a micro-grant program for organizations that are working towards win-wins for both. We’ve funded scientific research through the Island Institute on how kelp aquaculture reduces acidification in the Gulf of Maine, making for healthier shellfish growth and a new income stream for fishermen farming kelp; held fundraisers for Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association that promoted underutilized sustainably harvested fish species; organized and funded fishermen-led ocean and island trash clean ups that keep pollution from harming the ecosystem and the species that feed our community; and more.
What does sustainably sourced mean? Sustainability is not a buzzword at Luke’s. Sustainable Seafood means seafood that is harvested from a healthy population that is not at risk of overfishing, under strict regulations that prevent overfishing or eco-system damage. Traceability from dock to plate is key to ensuring sustainability, and we are proud to trace every pound of seafood we sell to the harbor where it was caught so we know the regulations that bind that fishery to sustainable harvesting methods.
Maine’s lobster fishery is intentionally inefficient — rather than allowing companies to own big corporate fleets, every individual must own and operate their own boat and traps. This helps prevent overfishing and keeps money in local economies. So we don’t own boats or fishing licenses--we buy directly from either individual fishermen, or from fishermen’s co-ops.
A co-op is a business that is collectively owned by those who operate it. While a company-owned dock sets and keeps the profits from buying and selling lobster, fuel, and bait, a co-op uses their collective power to get fishermen the best prices on their inputs and outputs, and chooses as a community how to reinvest or distribute profits. We believe that buying whenever possible from co-ops, like the Tenants Harbor Fishermen’s Co-Op, the Cranberry Isles Fishermen Co-Op, the Port Clyde Fishermen’s Co-Op, the Friendship Fishermen’s Co-Op, and the Ceilidh Fishermen Co-Op, is the best way to use our purchasing to support the communities that provide our seafood.
We acknowledge that the land that we occupy today is the traditional, unceded territory of the Wabanaki Confederacy. The lands and waters throughout this state that we call Maine, where the food that we serve at Luke’s Lobster is fished and farmed, is the traditional territory and remains the home of the sovereign peoples of the Confederacy: the Abenaki, Penobscot, Passamaquody, Maliseet, and Mi’kmaq.
We acknowledge that our presence here as non-Indigenous people is due to the forcible removal and genocide of the people of the Wabanaki Confederacy, the intentional erasure of their culture, and the trampling of their territorial rights. The harm of settler colonialism is not in the past; it continues today. At Luke's Lobster, we recognize, support, and advocate for Indigenous individuals and communities. By offering this Land Acknowledgement, we affirm Indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold ourselves more accountable to the needs of Indigenous peoples.
That begins with supporting organizations that speak the truth and work towards equity, healing, and positive change. As a food company, it’s also important to acknowledge the destruction or over-exploitation by colonizers of traditional Wabanaki food sources, such as wild rice, cod, and sea-run fisheries. We believe in the economic sovereignty of Indigenous peoples and their access to culturally appropriate foods, and will continue to support the farms and food businesses they operate on the path to achieving those goals. We are still at the start of a long road towards healing, but we are committed to this path forward.
As a multi-location restaurant group, we also acknowledge that our shacks occupy the traditional, unceded territory of the following nations:
Back Bay - Massa-adchu-es-et (Massachusett) and Pawtucket
Bethesda - Piscataway and Nacotchtank (Anacostan)
Brickell City Centre - Tequesta, Seminole, and Taino
Brooklyn Bridge Park - Canarsie and Munsee Lenape
City Hall - Myaamia, Bodéwadmiakiwen (Potawatomi), Kaskaskia, Peoria, and Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo)
Downtown Crossing - Massa-adchu-es-et (Massachusett) and Pawtucket
Farragut - Piscataway and Nacotchtank (Anacostan)
Fidi - Munsee Lenape
Garment District - Munsee Lenape
Las Vegas - Newe (Western Shoshone), Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute), and Nüwüwü (Chemehuevi)
Midtown East - Munsee Lenape
Penn Quarter - Piscataway and Nacotchtank (Anacostan)
This information was sourced from the Native Land Digitalmap and does not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations. The map is a work in progress with contributions from the community. Please send fixes or questions to Native Land Digital directly if you find errors.