NOAA, Canada fight Swedish lobster ban

NOAA and its Canadian counterpart are ramping up opposition to a Swedish-led proposal to ban the import of American lobsters into the European Union, saying the Swedish risk assessment falls far short of the necessary scientific standards to support the ban.

Sweden, concerned about the appearance of fewer than 100 American lobsters in its waters during the past decade, performed a risk assessment it said reflects the potential for the species Homarus americanus to become an invasive alien species capable of overwhelming Europe’s indigenous lobster population.

“Among other claims, the Swedish risk assessment finds that there is a high risk of Homarus americanus successfully reproducing and overpowering the native Homarus gammarus in EU waters, with a major/massive ecological and economic impact,” Eileen Sobeck, assistant administrator for fisheries for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wrote in a letter to Daniel Calleja Crespo of the European Commission. “Our initial findings suggest that these conclusions are not supported by the best available science.”

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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