Experts Say North American Lobster Not a Threat to Europe

The U.S. announced on Monday (06/06/16) that the North American lobster is not a threat to Europe and does not meet the criteria of an invasive species. A letter by Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was sent to EU officials stating “the US has serious concerns with the risk assessment used to support Sweden’s proposal to include American lobster (Homarus americanus) on the EU list of invasive species”.

The U.S. and Canada are refuting the Swedish Risk assessment, as it is not supported by the best scientific evidence available. The U.S. letter is backed up by through scientific reviews, including a joint report done by federal and state fisheries who extensively researched the claims presented in the Swedish Risk assessment. The U.S. scientists cited numerous peer reviewed scientific studies countering the Swedish assessment claims as unfounded.

Under the Invasive species definition, the North American lobster would need to not only arrive (in this case through escapement) and survive, but also become established and spread. To date, there is no scientific evidence to show a viable population can establish in the EU and experts say that’s unlikely to occur.