Maine Congressional Delegation Responds to European Union Decision to Proceed with Review of Proposed Lobster Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin released the following statement today in response to a decision by the European Union’s (EU) Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species to open up a broader review of Sweden’s request to declare American lobster as an invasive species and ban all imports of live lobster into the EU:

“We find this decision deeply disappointing, particularly because – as North American scientists have thoroughly demonstrated – there is no strong scientific evidence to justify a ban on the import of live lobsters into the entire 28-country European Union, as Sweden wrongly proposes.

“We continue to believe that pursuing such a prohibition is not only unsupported by science and inconsistent with the rules of the World Trade Organization, but is also an unnecessary overreaction that would have devastating economic effects on the American lobster industry that supports so many Mainers and their families.

“The EU’s Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species did not consider economic factors when conducting the review to this point, but moving forward the EU will and we will continue to support Maine’s lobster industry by seeing that the science and economic impacts are made clear.”

In June, Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Poliquin joined with members of the New England Congressional delegation in sending a letter to the European Union speaking out against the proposal by Sweden to ban the import of live lobsters. In March, the Maine Congressional delegation also wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan asking that the Obama Administration also resist Sweden’s efforts.

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