Sourcing Our Seafood

Whether it’s hauled in from the icy Bering Sea or harvested in the warm waters of the Caribbean, all of our seafood is sourced with integrity. Learn more about what it takes to get it from the source to your plate.

Choose your favorite kind of seafood:

Sourcing information is updated quarterly to reflect seasonality and supply availability. Last updated 08/27/2018.

Sourcing Our Lobster

Lobster fishing isn’t just a job. It’s a way of life in countless coastal communities…a tradition passed down from generation to generation. Red Lobster is proud to support the men and women in these communities who fish responsibly to ensure there’s lobster to catch and enjoy for generations to come.

A Family’s Tradition

We’re proud to share the story of Heather’s family and their longtime commitment to responsible fishing.

This video was produced in partnership with Great Big Story

Where our four kinds of lobster come from:

Sourcing information is updated quarterly to reflect seasonality and supply availability. Last updated 08/27/2018.
  • Maritime Lobster
  • Rock Lobster
  • Norway Lobster
  • Langostino Lobster

Maritime Lobster is iconic, and not just because it’s our logo. It is the most sought-after lobster because of its large claws, sweet flavor and tender texture. Protecting this prized species is important to us. That’s why we support regulations that require responsible fishing practices.

Maritime Lobster comes from New England and Canada

Conserving Lobster Habitats

We partner with suppliers who follow the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act – a federal act with mandated conservation measures for the waters where Maritime Lobster is found. Our partners also follow regulations concerning trap limits and avoid using fishing methods that can harm the environment, like dragging for lobster.

Building a better lobster trap

We encourage suppliers to use traps with “escape vents” and a biodegradable “ghost panel.” The “escape vents” allow lobster that are not yet up to legal size to swim out of the traps and back into the ocean. “Ghost panels” are designed with fasteners that dissolve over time, allowing lobster to escape if the trap ever breaks away and gets lost.

Not too little, not too big

Lobstermen follow strict minimum size limits to allow lobster at least one reproduction cycle. If a lobster is too small, it goes back in the water. To help protect the natural restocking of the population, Red Lobster also has a maximum size restriction – we never serve lobster over 4 lbs. because larger lobster have a greater capacity for breeding and reproduction.

The future is female

Lobster fishermen use the “V-Notch” system to protect females capable of bearing eggs. The process is simple: a “V” is notched into females’ fin tails, signaling to other fishermen that they must be released if found in a trap. This conservation technique began in 1872, and it remains one of the most trusted methods for protecting the stock.

Rock Lobster can be found in the warmer waters of Brazil, the Caribbean and Central America. Also known as Spiny Lobster, Rock Lobster don’t have claws – all the meat is in the tail.

Rock Lobster is sourced from Brazil, the Caribbean and Central America

Fishery Improvement Projects

Through our partnership with World Wildlife Fund, Red Lobster is helping improve the sustainability of Rock lobster fisheries in The Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Honduras and Nicaragua – and helping to safeguard marine wildlife, the natural environment and the livelihoods of people who depend on ocean resources.

Specifically, we are supporting Rock lobster fishery improvement projects (FIPs) designed to strengthen the fisheries’ sustainability so that they can achieve the environmental standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Red Lobster is engaging its suppliers and fishermen on the ground as well as local policymakers to drive better practices, including conducting scientific research to understand and reduce the impacts of Rock lobster fisheries on the marine habitat and developing international stock assessments to monitor Rock lobster stock. 

These improvement efforts offer a step-by-step approach for fisheries to further their environmental and social sustainability. 

 

Dive Responsibly

Diving for lobster, if not done responsibly, can be quite dangerous. That’s why we work to ensure that our dive-caught lobster is caught by divers with proper equipment in areas that encourage safe and sustainable fishing practices. And we don't serve Scuba-dive caught lobster from Central America due to diver safety.

Norway Lobster comes from the cold, clear waters of the North Atlantic and North Sea. We get our Norway Lobster from healthy and well-managed fisheries in the Moray Firth, the North and East of Scotland and off the West Coast of Scotland.

Norway Lobster is found in the North Atlantic, mainly off the coast of Scotland

Controlled Catches

To prevent over-fishing, all catches of Norway Lobster are strictly controlled and subject to Total Allowable Catch (TAC) regulations and United Kingdom quotas under the European Union Common Fisheries Policy.

 
 

Caught wild from the cold Pacific waters off of Chile, Langostino may be small - but they have great flavor and texture. The Red Langostino and Yellow Langostino we serve comes mostly from a single supplier that is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified.

Langostino Lobster is caught in the cold waters of the southern hemisphere

The Chilean water advantage

Chilean sea life benefits from the Humboldt current, a cold current from southern seas that is rich in phytoplankton. The abundance of this microscopic food source helps many different kinds of marine life thrive, preserving a diverse, healthy ecosystem. All of our Langostino is from these waters.

 

Langostino vs. Langoustine

Langostino and Langoustine are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re quite different. Langoustine is Norway Lobster – with a tail resembling that of a Maritime Lobster, it’s typically 7-8 inches long. Langostino, also called Squat Lobster, is usually not longer than 3 inches and has a compact tail.

Sourcing Our Crab

On our menu, you'll often find Snow and King crab. There are other varieties that can make a special appearance on our menu, if they're deemed abundant to catch responsibly, like Bairdi and Dungeness. No matter what the species, every crab we serve is wild-caught using crab traps or "pots."

Respect The Catch!

For over 50 years, we have worked to ensure that only the best seafood makes it to our restaurants. Hear from Deadliest Catch Captains Josh & Casey on how we do it the right way.

Where you'll find the crab we serve:

Sourcing information is updated quarterly to reflect seasonality and supply availability. Last updated 08/27/2018.

  • Snow Crab
  • King Crab
  • Dungeness Crab
  • Bairdi Crab

Snow Crab Stats

  • Depth: They can be found as far down as 3,900 feet, but are more typically sourced in seas 400-900 feet deep
  • Size: 1 to 3 lbs. on average, growing up to almost 6 inches wide
  • Appearance: Iridescent, with white on the sides of their feet. Not as spiny as King Crab

Snow Crab comes from the cold, pristine waters of the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, and St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland

 
 

Why we love Alaska Crab:

As the only state with conservation language within its constitution, Alaska’s fishing regulations are a model of sustainability around the world

  • Alaska’s waters are carefully managed to protect against overfishing and damaging marine habitats
  • Crab harvesting seasons are strictly limited from October through February to ensure sustainability and optimal quality
  • Our suppliers in Alaska strictly follow Total Allowable Catch restrictions and the Open/Closed areas set by the state government

King Crab Stats

  • Depth: Typically found around 600 feet deep
  • Size: Can reach a whopping 18 lbs. with a span of 6 feet (hence, their name!)
  • Appearance: Long-legged and spiny

King Crab comes from the icy waters of the North Pacific

 
 

Why we love Alaska Crab:

As the only state with conservation language within its constitution, Alaska’s fishing regulations are a model of sustainability around the world

  • Alaska’s waters are carefully managed to protect against overfishing and damaging marine habitats
  • Crab harvesting seasons are strictly limited from October through February to ensure sustainability and optimal quality
  • Our suppliers in Alaska strictly follow Total Allowable Catch restrictions and the Open/Closed areas set by the state government

Dungeness Crab Stats

  • Depth: Typically found along coastlines at 40 feet deep to almost 400 feet down, fairly close to shore
  • Size: About 2 lbs. on average and 6" to 8" wide
  • Appearance:  Purplish, with a smooth, spineless shell

Dungeness is caught in the Pacific coastal waters from Alaska to California

 
 

Bairdi Crab Stats

  • Depth: Common at depths of 650 feet or less
  • Size: 1 - 4 lbs. on average and are usually slightly larger than Snow Crab
  • Appearance:  Greenish-brown with red granules, orange lateral spines and brown, white, pink and orange legs

Bairdi Crab is found in the frigid waters of the Bering Sea, North Pacific Ocean and, in less abundance, in the Gulf of Alaska

 

Why we love Alaska Crab:

As the only state with conservation language within its constitution, Alaska’s fishing regulations are a model of sustainability around the world

  • Alaska’s waters are carefully managed to protect against overfishing and damaging marine habitats
  • Crab harvesting seasons are strictly limited from October through February to ensure sustainability and optimal quality
  • Our suppliers in Alaska strictly follow Total Allowable Catch restrictions and the Open/Closed areas set by the state government

Sourcing Our Shrimp

As a leader in seafood sustainability, we source a mindful combination of wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp from all over the world. We’re proud that our shrimp was the first to be Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certified by the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and we’re happy to support local fisheries to bring you wild-caught species, when available.

Where we get our shrimp:

Sourcing information is updated quarterly to reflect seasonality and supply availability. Last updated 08/27/2018.

  • Argentine Red Shrimp
  • Pacific White Shrimp
  • Atlantic Seabob Shrimp

Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, U.S. (Gulf of Mexico)

Holding shrimp to a higher standard

To assure safety and quality, Red Lobster has a Total Quality Management program for all our seafood.

When it comes to our shrimp, our full-time Total Quality Inspectors visit our suppliers at least once a year to review practices and standards and audit every approved supplier facility. This includes reviewing all production records and test reports from the supplier. At least twice a year, our inspectors will send a random sample of shrimp from a supplier to a third-party accredited lab for quality testing.

Sourcing Our Fish

You'll find Salmon, Tilapia, Trout, and Flounder on our menu year-round. They're traceable, sustainable and responsibly sourced - just like all of the seafood we serve.

We also offer local and seasonal fish, either flown in or sourced from nearby waters, on our Today’s Catch menu, which changes regularly.

Where we source our fish:

Sourcing information is updated quarterly to reflect seasonality and supply availability. Last updated 08/27/2018.

  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Trout
  • Flounder
  • Tuna
  • Regional Varieties

Bringing The Best Fish

Our farm-raised Salmon, Tilapia, and Trout come from some of the world's most trusted suppliers who adhere to one or more of the following sustainability certifications:


  • Best Aquaculture Practices
  • Membership in the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI)
  • Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification

When in season,  a select number of our restaurants feature fresh, wild-caught Sockeye Salmon from Alaska, where our suppliers follow the state's world-renowned guidelines.

Fresh Salmon - farmed in Canada, Chile, Norway, and U.S.; wild-caught in U.S.

 

Bringing The Best Fish

Our farm-raised Salmon, Tilapia and Trout come from some of the world's most trusted suppliers who adhere to one or more of the following sustainability certifications:


  • Best Aquaculture Practices
  • Membership in the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI)
  • Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification

When in season, we also source fresh, wild-caught Sockeye Salmon and Coho Salmon from Alaska, where our suppliers follow the state’s world-renowned guidelines.

Tilapia – farmed inHonduras, Mexico, China, Brazil, and Indonesia 

 

Bringing The Best Fish

Our farm-raised Salmon, Tilapia and Trout come from some of the world's most trusted suppliers who adhere to one or more of the following sustainability certifications:


  • Best Aquaculture Practices
  • Membership in the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI)
  • Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification

When in season, we also source fresh, wild-caught Sockeye Salmon and Coho Salmon from Alaska, where our suppliers follow the state’s world-renowned guidelines.

Trout – farmed in Colombia and U.S.

 

Bringing The Best Fish

Our farm-raised Salmon, Tilapia and Trout come from some of the world's most trusted suppliers who adhere to one or more of the following sustainability certifications:


  • Best Aquaculture Practices
  • Membership in the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI)
  • Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification

When in season, we also source fresh, wild-caught Sockeye Salmon and Coho Salmon from Alaska, where our suppliers follow the state’s world-renowned guidelines.

Flounder – wild-caught off the coast of Alaska in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska

 

Committed to Tuna Done Right

All of our tuna is Yellowfin tuna, with a deep red color, sweet, mild flavor and a dense, firm texture. It is all wild-caught using pull lines that minimize the impact on other marine species. The fishery is part of a Fishery Improvement Project that is working to achieve MSC certification among other sustainability objectives.

Tuna stats and facts:

  • Indonesia is among the world’s largest tuna-producing countries
  • Yellowfin tuna can be caught year-round, but the main season is April-December
  • The international Game Fish Association world record for a Yellowfin tuna stands at 427 pounds

Yellowfin Tuna – wild-caught from the western central Pacific Ocean

Fresh Regional Favorites

We’re proud to bring our guests regional options throughout the U.S. and Canada on our Today’s Catch menu. Depending on the time of year and where you live, you may find fish such as:

  • Grouper
  • Mahi
  • Snapper
  • Swordfish

Grouper – Gulf of Mexico;
Mahi – Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean;
Snapper – Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans;
Swordfish – Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Gulf of Mexico

Seafood With Standards

Read more about our philosophy of sourcing seafood that lives up to higher standards –seafood that is traceable, sustainable and responsible.
Learn More

Our Commitment

Since we first opened our doors in 1968, we’ve been living our commitment to establishing and upholding seafood standards we can all be proud of. We Sea Food Differently™.
Learn More
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