Maine Lobster Losing ‘Sustainable’ Label Over Gear Risk To Whales

"Two seafood guides have cautioned against eating the state’s famed lobster, citing concerns over endangered North Atlantic right whales becoming entangled in fishing gear"

"A major seafood guide announced Wednesday it no longer considers Maine’s famed lobsters sustainable, given that whales on the brink of extinction are dying after becoming entangled in fishing gear.

The decision to revoke the Marine Stewardship Council’s recognizable blue label is a blow to a business already feeling an economic pinch amid low lobster prices, high fuel costs and questions about its environmental practices. Conservationists have launched an aggressive campaign to do more to protect critically endangered right whales in the North Atlantic, whose numbers continue to decline. Only an estimated 340 individuals remain.

“We’re hopeful and look for the opportunity to work with the fishery and others to figure out how to help them move forward,” said Erika Feller, a regional director at the Marine Stewardship Council. “Hopefully, the fishery can regain certification.”

Retailers across the United States sell seafood rated by the Marine Stewardship Council, a nonprofit which uses independent reviewers to determine whether a fishery is well managed and that it does not harm other species or ocean habitats. The announcement comes just a month after another sustainability guide, Seafood Watch, cautioned against buying lobster caught in either American or Canadian waters."

Dino Grandoni reports for the Washington Post November 16, 2022.

Source: Washington Post, 11/17/2022