President Macron of France may not have realised it, but he walked into another fishing war earlier this month when he and 200 other guests were treated at the White House to butter-poached Maine lobster accented with American Osetra caviar and garnished with celery crisp.

At issue was the lobster, currently subject to a court ruling designed to prevent Maine’s lobstermen from trapping the crustacea in baited pots marked by lines that can fatally entangle feeding North Atlantic right whales. There are now just 340 such whales, with only about 100 breeding females, making the species one of the most endangered on the planet.

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