“Entanglement in fishing gear is a major cause of severe injury and death in North Atlantic right whales. In gillnet fisheries, bycatch management has been assessed as ineffective – enough to reduce the risk of entanglement and facilitate species recovery.”
Politicians in Maine, where the lobster industry is important, are calling on the organization to reverse what it called an “irresponsible decision.”
“The recent decision by Seafood Watch at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a reckless act to put Maine lobster on the ‘Red List’ for poor evidence of impacts on right whales, effectively adding to Maine’s important and iconic industry. It will have a negative impact on the real world.” Wrote the main delegation in the release. “In court, you need evidence before you can convict someone, and you’re trying to sentence a Maine lobster fisherman on speculation, assumption, and guesswork, not hard facts.”
“If anything, the facts publicly available refute this offensive behavior that affects the lives of thousands of people in Maine, and the need to immediately rescind the irresponsible designation. I am making it clear.
Politicians argued that there was not enough evidence to conclude that the lines used to fish for lobster specifically harmed right whales in the North Atlantic. It claims it has not been confirmed that the right whale was entangled. And lobster fishermen are already taking steps to mitigate the risks the vertical line poses to whales, they said.
Seafood Watch admits that it’s impossible to say whether the entanglement originated in Maine’s lobster fishery because most entanglements cannot be associated with a particular industry or location.
Ultimately, the organization hopes that reforms to the lobster fishery “will quickly mitigate the cumulative impacts of the past.” [North Atlantic right whale] And allow the population to recover,” they added.