WSJ Reports on Proposed Lobster Trade Ban in EU

The Wall Street Journal is reporting on a potential ban on imports of live North American lobsters in the European Union. Sweden alleges that a few dozen North American lobsters have been found in European waters over the past decade and have the potential to breed and spread diseases among European lobsters, but the new report highlights continued questions about the merits behind Sweden’s claims and its push for a trade ban.

In the report:

  • NFI asks how 32 lobsters found in EU waters over an eight-year period could constitute as an “invasion”
  • The Executive Director of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute addresses the science in Sweden’s risk assessment; stating that the bacterial disease mentioned in the assessment hasn’t been seen for at least 10 years
  • A letter from Maine’s Congressional delegation to Secretary of State John Kerry notes that Maine has safely shipped its lobsters globally for decades without incident
  • The State Department tells the WSJ that the U.S. government is “working to evaluate the scientific basis of Sweden’s request” and is “in close contact with European colleagues to ensure that legitimate trade is not unjustifiably restricted”

The article ends by noting a Scientific Forum at the European Commission will discuss Sweden’s request in June, and there would be many steps after this meeting before anything would be final.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here.