NFI Statement on EU Lobster Trade Discussion

WASHINGTON, DC MARCH 18, 2016 — It is important to note that there is no EU ban on imported live lobsters from North America. Sweden has raised the specter of such a prohibition but no embargo has been implemented.

We will work with our European colleagues to better appreciate their apprehensions. We need to understand how 32 lobsters found in EU waters over an 8-year period constitutes an “invasion.”

We will also work to identify credible, science-based solutions to reduce the chances of live North American lobsters entering EU waters.

The lobster trade has had a positive economic impact on both trading partners for many years. North American lobster exports to the EU generate about $139 million and are a favorite with consumers across Europe. North American lobsters mean jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

As the U.S. works on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Canadians implement their own groundbreaking agreement with the EU, we expect the European Commission to consider the least costly solution in addressing concerns.

Europeans releasing live lobsters into the sea, after arrival from North America, is a local law enforcement issue and perhaps not part of an international commerce dispute that could cripple mutually beneficial trade in lobsters. If locals break local laws, let’s not escalate this to a continent-wide ban on trade in lobsters.

John Connelly
President, National Fisheries Institute

Contact Information

Gavin Gibbons 703.752.8891