Lobster lover’s may no longer be able to get their hands on the seafood delicacy.
The Marine Stewardship Council has determined that federal fisheries regulators are failing to protect North Atlantic right whales from being entangled and killed by the fishing equipment used by Maine fishermen. Therefore, the certification of Maine lobster as a sustainable fishery will be suspended on December 15th.
Maine’s lobster fishery has been blamed for the rapid decline of the whales for decades. However, lobstermen have strongly pushed back against these claims. Court rulings have forced the industry to change how they set their gear. Now, with whales continuously dying, the fight against the fishermen has hit a possible point of no return.
With Wednesday’s decision, the Maine Lobstermens’ Association has voiced its disdain for the decertification. The organization believes that they are being wrongly accused of harming animals when in reality, it is climate change eliminating the whales.
“This unfortunate MSC decertification is the direct result of the federal government’s overreach and its misuse of science in overestimating risk from the Maine lobster fishery,” Patrice McCarron, executive director of Maine Lobstermens’ Association, said in a statement.
In 2013, the lobster fishery in Maine received sustainability certification. This made it possible for the blue MSC sustainability logo to be shown on consumer packaging for Maine lobster goods. Every five years, MSC mandates reevaluations of each certified fishery in order to maintain certification.