Cruise ships could provide a huge boost to the local economies they visit by buying fresh local produce and seafood -- a boost that many cruise stops from Maine to the Caribbean islands desperately need.
Maine congresswoman Chellie Pingree is urging the cruise ships that bring tens of thousands of visitors to Portland to serve locally caught lobsters to their passengers.
The Democrat announced Monday that she had sent a letter to the owners of 15 cruise ship lines that visit the state suggesting that buying locally harvested lobster is good value and also helps further boost the Maine economy.
Pingree said she wrote the letter because the cruise ship industry serves a lot of lobster to its passengers but the ships that visit Portland have not typically ordered the delicious crustacean from local suppliers.
Fifteen cruise ships are scheduled to make a total of 60 visits to Portland this year, bringing nearly 70,000 passengers with them.
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