Sweden's push to list live American lobsters as an invasive species and ban their import by the full European Union is "an excessive and unscientific response" that jeopardizes its $125 million lobster trade with Massachusetts, according to Rep. Seth Moulton, Sen. Edward J. Markey and the remainder of the state's congressional delegation.
In a letter sent today to the EU's directorate-general for the environment that listed Moulton and Markey as the lead signatories, the Bay State delegation picked up where many North American scientists and fisheries regulators have left off in the escalating international trade tiff.
"Isolated reports of individual American lobsters found in European waters do not constitute the invasion of an alien species," the delegation wrote to Daniel Calleja Crespo. "This possible designation is not merited because, as indicated in the data provided to the (EU) Scientific Forum by the United States and Canada, there is no evidence that American lobster can reproduce in waters as warm as those of coastal Europe."
They also insist that the initial Swedish risk assessment, which serves as the basis for the Swedish claim, "failed to demonstrate that interbreeding between European and American lobsters produces fertile offspring" and an "outright ban of the importation of live American lobster to the EU is an excessive and unscientific response."