In Letter to European Commission, Massachusetts leaders advocate for fact-based decision on potential EU lobster ban

Washington, D.C. – Today, Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton and Senator Edward J. Markey led a campaign to protect the Massachusetts lobster industry. Their advocacy is in response to the European Union (EU) Scientific Forum’s decision to move forward with Sweden’s proposal to classify the American lobster as an invasive alien species and, subsequently, ban their import to the EU.

Moulton and Markey led a Massachusetts congressional delegation letter sent today to the EU's Directorate-General for the environment, Daniel Calleja Crespo. The letter expresses serious concern about the EU Scientific Forum’s decision to move forward and calls it “an excessive and unscientific response” that “would have a significant economic impact on Massachusetts and throughout New England.” Full letter attached.

"Science and economics don’t support the proposal to ban the importation of live American lobsters into the EU. The proposed ban would undermine a centuries-old relationship and have enormously negative impacts on the Massachusetts lobster industry,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “I urge the EU to consider solutions beyond this extreme blanket ban of American lobster imports and work towards a solution so that Europeans can continue to enjoy this most delectable of American exports for years to come.”

“Sweden’s attempt to cast the American lobster as an invasive species is simply not supported by science,” said Congressman Seth Moulton. “Numerous studies conducted by leading marine scientists refute Sweden’s assertions, making their proposed ban an unmerited and concerning move. This ban would not only have a detrimental impact on the livelihoods of hardworking men and women in the lobster industry, but it would also hurt our entire Massachusetts economy. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to advocate for an informed, data-driven decision on this issue.”

“Congressman Seth Moulton and Senator Markey’s dedication and commitment to the commercial lobster industry here in the Commonwealth is exemplary while dealing with many challenging issues the lobster industry and its shoreside support businesses face on a daily basis,” said Beth Casoni, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association. “We are extremely grateful to have tried and true champions in our corner when the traps are stacked against the hard working men and women in the commercial fishing industry.”