The great state of Maine has long been the US capital for one of the most profound delicacies in the nation – Maine Lobster – but all that could be changing in the not-so-distant future thanks to some trouble off the coast.
This week, a decision regarding Right Whales in the northern Atlantic Ocean has a major supermarket chain pulling Maine Lobster from the shelves, and infuriating Maine politicians at the same time.
Maine politicians issued a blistering statement after Whole Foods announced the that store would no longer sell lobsters caught off the coast of the New England state in response to environmentalist concerns that the fishing industry allegedly threatens a rare whale.Advertisement - story continues below
“We are disappointed by Whole Foods’ decision and deeply frustrated that the Marine Stewardship Council’s suspension of the lobster industry’s certificate of sustainability continues to harm the livelihoods of hardworking men and women up and down Maine’s coast,” Maine Gov. Janet Mills wrote in a joint statement with Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden.
Local leaders suggested that the Stewardship Council’s decision was ill-conceived.
Political leaders in Maine, which has the largest lobster fishing industry in the country, slammed Whole Foods’ decision, arguing that no right whale has died due to Maine lobster gear and that the fishing community in the state has long worked to protect right whales.
“In an appeal to retailers just weeks ago, we outlined the facts: there has never been a right whale death attributed to Maine lobster gear; Maine lobstermen have a 150-year history of sustainability; and Maine’s lobstering community has consistently demonstrated their commitment to protecting right whales,” the governor and the four other leaders in the state wrote.Advertisement - story continues below
“Despite this, the Marine Stewardship Council, with retailers following suit, wrongly and blindly decided to follow the recommendations of misguided environmental groups rather than science. We strongly urge the Marine Stewardship Council and retailers to reconsider their potentially devastating decisions.”
Meal-prep company HelloFresh has similarly stopped carrying Maine Lobster on account of similar concerns.
There are believed to be less than 400 right whales remaining in the world.