California Eco-Activist Group Red-Lists Maine Lobster
Maine other US Senator, Angus King, dismisses Monterey Aquarium (home of “Seafood Watch”) as ….an “arrogant fish zoo.”
I am currently making my way through New England for this year’s fall color trip, and now I feel I should make it an apology tour.
My husband and I spent several days in Maine enjoying lobster and lobster rolls, only to discover that a group of Bay Area eco-activists has placed lobsters on its “red list.”
Maine lobster industry officials and processors worry the recent “red-listing” of the American and Canadian lobster fishery by an influential conservation watchdog group could hurt the state’s fishing fleet at a time when it is already feeling threatened by increasing regulations.
Earlier this week, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch recommended consumers avoid lobsters caught throughout New England and Canada because management of the fisheries don’t go far enough to protect North Atlantic right whales from entanglements.
It is not the first time the aquarium has said consumers should not eat lobster due to environmental concerns. It cited overfishing when lobster made the list in 2000, but later backtracked and removed lobster from the “avoid” list.
Some retailers are taking lobster off the menu.
Seafood Watch, which rates the sustainability of different seafoods, said this week it has added the American and Canadian lobster fisheries to its “red list” of species to avoid. The organization, based at Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, said in a report that the fishing industry is a danger to North Atlantic right whales because “current management measures do not go far enough to mitigate entanglement risks and promote recovery of the species.”
Thousands of businesses use Seafood Watch’s recommendations to inform seafood buying decisions, and many have pledged to avoid any items that appear on the red list. A spokesperson for Blue Apron, the New York meal kit retailer, said after the release of the report that the company no longer offers lobster. HelloFresh, the Germany-based meal kit company that is the largest such company operating in the U.S., also pledged shortly after the announcement to stop selling lobster.
I will note those companies who are so easily bullied by eco-activism and make it a point to go elsewhere for my meals. Two can play that game.
Maine’s famed lobstermen are fighting back, too.
Local lobstermen are furious over the “red list” designation by the environmental group Seafood Watch discouraging the purchase of Gulf of Maine lobster.
…Lobstermen argue their traps are regulated in the United States to the point where they consider it unfeasible for right whales to get caught in their traps. Maine lobstermen have not had an interaction with right whales in nearly 20 years, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association said this week.
With the new listing, coming out the month of Maine Lobster Week, Maine lobstermen and officials as high in power as the governor are denouncing Seafood Watch for unfairly attacking Maine’s struggling lobster industry.
“Seafood Watch is misleading consumers and businesses with this designation,” Maine Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement Tuesday. She said generations of Maine lobstermen have worked hard to protect the sustainability of the lobster fishery and have taken unprecedented steps to protect right whales.
Maine’s other US Senator, Angus King, had the best assessment of the Monterey Aquarium and its group of eco-nuts: “arrogant fish zoo.”
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, was visibly upset as he addressed reporters outside Luke’s Lobster in Portland on Friday. He dismissed the aquarium as an “arrogant fish zoo.”
“They have made a decision, which is a knife in the back of the lobster industry in Maine, with no evidence,” he exclaimed.
King was flanked by Gov. Janet Mills, Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Kelliher, Luke’s Lobster owner Luke Holden, and Curt Brown, lobsterman and marine biologist for Ready Seafood.
The group argued there are no documented cases of Maine lobster gear ever killing a right whale, and the last entanglement was in 2004, while Maine boasts the largest lobster fishing industry in the United States.
The group also said fishermen have taken multiple steps to prevent entanglement, including removing 30,000 miles of rope from the water, begun using weaker lines and added break points to them, and closed sections of water to fishing.
As a Californian, I would like to apologize to the Great State of Maine….and promise to order more lobster during the remainder of my New England vacation.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
I’ll have to get some lobster for dinner sometime this week.
“Thousands of businesses use Seafood Watch’s recommendations to inform seafood buying decisions, and many have pledged to avoid any items that appear on the red list.”
Mais fica, motherf*s.
Yes. But none of them will be seafood restaurants.
Digging into one of the linked articles:
I’m afraid that 340 individuals is too small of a gene pool. The North Atlantic Right Whale is already extinct, it just hasn’t finished dying off yet.
i don’t trust the population numbers of environmental extremists.
Well, if their numbers invalidate their own argument…
The Soviet Union in direct violation of its own treaty was found after its fall to be responsible for the likely extinction of the Northern Right Whales.
“Its own treaty”? In what way was the treaty its?
Seriously, in what way did the treaty belong to the USSR? I don’t get why anyone is downvoting the question, especially since nobody seems to have an answer.
Maybe they aren’t done yet. I looked at your comment. It makes perfect sense. Large animals. Small gene pool.
Really. The math should work against them. But math has a way of being wrong.
If math couldn’t be wrong it wouldn’t be interesting
I used to go lobster diving when I lived there and what I learned is that lobster populations vary widely from year-to-year and it is not about over-fishing. The lobster fishermen also liked to blame us divers and even accused us of stealing from their lobster pots. But this has nothing to do with lobsters. We are again back to “save the whales” and these days, you don’t need to prove anything. You just point a finger and accuse.
Same here. I recall holding diving classes off Nubble Light in Maine, and the lobstermen would drive right through, ignoring the diver’s flag floats.
But I still support them.
Too bad I don’t care for lobster, otherwise they would be on my to eat list.
Who put these West Coast birkenstock shod fools in charge of anything, let alone crustaceans living 3,000 miles away?
The first amendment did. It also put you in charge, and me and everyone else.
I live in Rockport, MA. Lobstering is big business. Lobsters are cheap. I don’t eat them. I think they are worse than alligator, stringy, tough, chewy and flavorless were it not for butter and garlic.
I was born and raised in Louisiana, know how to cook and am here to tell you, there is a reason why Massachusetts created a law to limit how often you could feed lobster to slaves.
Now, haddock and cod are an entirely different delight.
Alas, if the faits and heavenly blessings prevail, there is a very good chance that I shall be gone from Massachusetts, permanently and forever as soon as the coming weekend. And if not so soon, certainly by the first week of October!
Lack of good haddock is one of the few flaws of Florida. Pretty much all whitefish in Florida is mush. However, after 9 years here I recently found one fish and chips place which has good haddock.
Redfish (sea bass) is pretty tasty, especially blackened.
Well, good luck to you. Give the Cod Curtain both fingers and a hearty AMF as you drive through it.
Went to MA after mil retirement. Lived Haverhill, worked Peabody. Lasted 6 years, got up one morning and told the wife, “I’m going to work; sell the house.” Safe travels to you!!
To the grocery this morning — added lobster to the list.
Rockport was one of my frequent diving spots and mostly for lobstering. Anything near Cape Ann and Gloucester since I had a MA lobster license. I did some spear fishing and photography too.
No Maine Lobster for you!
Enjoy your Australian Rock Crawdads.
I’d bet a generous donation by the Maine lobster industry to seafood watch might help alleviate the problem.
And Maine people should care about Kalifornia………why?
The French Laundry has Nova Scotia lobster on the menu.
Those who can afford to eat at The French Laundry are by definition above the law in California.
Oh, and in passing, I prefer my lobster done Cantonese-style. Soul food.
These prog loons truly believe they can browbeat everyone into eating crickets.
Lobster, crickets, what’s the difference?
This makes me boiling mad!
For my part, I pledge never to return to Monterey – or anyplace in California, for that matter.
As a committed “carrier,” I swore off California decades ago. Been there once in 22 years, and decided the risk in ignoring their laws was justified and cost-effective.
Took me a second to realize you meant “of firearms” and not “of diseases”.
I blame Wuhan Flu panic.
With the recent Monkey Pox and Polio outbreaks i had to pause a second myself
Kudos to being committed to being a carrier of something, i think
Great. Photos of lobster, the mention of garlic and butter, has made me hungry!
Of course, you know the day is coming when the eco-terrorists come up with PETB (Bugs) …
“A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”
Like LGBTQIA+PRLFQ, they’ll just keep making the list longer and longer.
I will grant that what they are after is subservience. And once it gets real hungry out, people will be eating things that they cannot conceive of eating now. If you get a chance, talk to anybody who was in SpecOps about what they learned to eat.
In fact, back when I was working, I was a SGT and with another SGT and we were having a discussion of what people would eat with one of our staff weenie admin types. It started out with sushi and sashimi [which made the staff weenie shudder], and somehow got around to the concept of pretty much any mammal being edible if you are hungry enough. I claimed that people would even eat picket pins [local nickname for prairie dogs]. Said weenie scoffed, shook her head, and said it could not be done.
I looked at my fellow SGT. [who hunted small game] and he smiled and nodded. He would get one for me. Note that diseases are not endemic in prairie dog villages until later in the year when the villages are overcrowded. This was early spring. I told said staff weenie that we would bring her some. She thought I was kidding.
One of the officers in my crew was retired Army, Special Forces, and at the time was still in the SF Reserves. I knew that he had been through every survival course any of the services had. I asked him about eating prairie dog, and he told me the problem and secret to beating it.
So, a few days later I was in possession of a skinned and dressed prairie dog. I proceeded. after taking care of the problem in prep, to make stir-fried curried prairie dog with sticky rice. And brought it in to said weenie’s office along with my SGT friend.
It smelled good. I admit that the meat was relatively bland, but it was quite edible. She tried to claim that it wasn’t prairie dog, but rather was chicken. In reply I dug around in my bowl with my chopsticks, and pulled out what was obviously a foot and claw, and asked her if she had ever seen one of these on any chicken? The shade of green she turned did not go well with her civilian outfit.
My fellow SGT and I continued eating, and someone came in from the next cubicle. He was a staff weenie too, but had come up the uniformed route and had been my LT for a while. A good guy. He asked what we were eating, we ran down the story and offered him some. He gladly took some and chowed down. The look she gave him reflected a certain sense of betrayal.
Not all of our time was spent fighting felons. 😉
My problem with lobstering is the trap itself.
If the marker becomes detached nobody knows where the pots are and they keep working and working and working as more lobster, fish, etc get trapped and die, becoming more bait, to nobody’s benefit.
Bro, you know how big a trap is and how they work? It seems not
The problem here is the reliability of the ‘watcher’. We have allowed these organizations to build lists of ‘bad’ things without any review or accountability. These pseudo private orgs aren’t neutral, they have an ideological bias. Just as the SPLC makes unsupported claims so do these environmental orgs.
It is past time for some measure of reform. These orgs have too much influence to be allowed free rein to publish unsubstantiated or tenuous claims which are then immediately amplified by an uncritical media to be acted upon by unthinking, ideological legislators.
Sure they can make whatever bogus claim they want but when used as the basis for new regulation or action these claims must be examined. These orgs have long since worn out any pretense of objectivity or basic credibility.
It’s called the freedom of speech. The most fundamental freedom we have.
In this case there is no regulation involved; but when a regulation is made on the basis of fake data that some ten-year-old invented for a school report (I’m sure you know what I’m talking about), that is on the regulators or the legislators, not on whoever invented or repeated the fake data. It’s their duty to do their own research, not rely on random “facts” they found in the internet.
As for these fake data serving as the basis for private action, as in this case, that’s the first amendment again. If people want to be idiots they have the right to be idiots. Let the lobstermen engage in a publicity campaign to debunk the claims. Let them get aggressive as the loonies are; take Alinsky’s advice to choose a few culprits and make it personal. Tell Fresh Direct, for instance, that if they don’t change their mind within three days there will be a massive advertising campaign accusing them of declaring war against Maine, and urging all Mainers and anyone who has some connection to Maine to boycott them. Hopefully the threat will work, but if it doesn’t then carry it out. Then move on to the next culprit, who will hopefully profit by other people’s mistakes instead of their own.
It could, in many cases, be labelled fraud. And it should be confronted on such a basis. You can say anything you want – as long as it isn’t fraudulent (or directly inciting illegal action). And the sorts of things CommoChief is talking about fall into that category. (I’m including defamation within fraud.)
Totally agree with 1st Amendment aspect, I thought I made it clear by stating ‘Sure, they can make whatever bogus claims they want..’.
Also agree with the irresponsible legislature aspect. The issue isn’t a hoodwinked legislature, it’s a legislature and media that consistently push these orgs data and statements without much, if any, scrutiny. These orgs pronouncements are somehow treated like gospel despite years, decades really, of advancing an ideological agenda.
I like your idea of counter protests but why not in person like the d/prog do? Hell, while were at it why not more disruptive in general like the tactics of code pink?
These doofs have only as much credence as you are wiling to let them have.
Think their ukase affects my lobster-buying habits? Nope.
Yes but you and I aren’t setting regulatory policy based on bogus claims from ideological orgs. Many policy makers use these orgs as a shield and sword to proclaim their virtue, while anyone who chooses to critically examine the often bogus claims are dismissed as cranks.
“Seafood Watch is misleading consumers and businesses with this designation,”
Funny way to spell ‘lying’.
The same politicians would be 100% in favor of these red-lists if they only affected red states.
On a side note, the movie CODA is about a fishing family in the Northeast. The subplot is that they are being regulated to extinction by the federal government and all their idiot apparatchiks. And yet the punishment goes on.
Does this mean cheaper lobster for me?
Mais fica. babeeee!
1) bought 2 lobsters for supper but not fresh as im no longer in New England
2) Shut up, Angus. You vote with the Dems that support this nonsense.
I guess lobster is on the menu.
I doubt anyone is interested in my personal philosophy but I’m going to offer it anyway.
I’ve been a hunter since I was 11. I’m pretty good at it. That means I like guns enough to know how to use them. Some cops, some soldiers, don’t like guns enough to actually practice with them to become proficient.
Feel free not to believe me. I have the distinguishment of managing the largest ammunition account of any intelligence command in the Pacific Fleet.
This is right up there in terms of accomplishment of being the best ice hockey player in Polynesia.
Getting back to the meaning, and yes, there’s a meaning, everybody needs to know where their food comes from. It may come across as bragging but I don’t think I’ve ever missed a rifle shot on a game animal. I’m afraid if I wing it I’ll have to deal with a suffering animal.
I don’t own enough land to farm.
So, now, I need to take up diving. And spear fishing. Because they told me not to. I am never going to run out of hobbies at this rate.
Preservation — Nothing can change, so nobody can do anything. Advocated by people who do little, so don’t have much to lose directly.
Activist — Someone so committed to an idea that they spend their time telling other people that “something must be done.” Also, so competent, this is literally the best they can do.
Ecological Preservation Activism — Reaction by the incompetent but easily-appalled to discovering that some thing people do impacts some other thing people care about out in “nature.”