Sweden Wants to Ban American Lobsters for Being an ‘Invasive Alien Species’
There is a chance that Europe could ban American lobster, which would cost fishermen in Canada and the US $200 million in exports.
Photo via Flickr user Kurman Communications
Europe is currently is being attacked by an invasive alien species.
Tall grays? Dracos? Andromedans? Reptilians? No. In fact, the invasive alien that is currently terrorizing European marine life is coming from this very galaxy—from America, specifically—and in lobster form.
At least, that's according to Sweden, which has been alleging that big, bad Homarus americanus are threatening their marine ecosystem and the very existence of Swedish lobsters.
While American and Canadian fisheries have challenged these claims for fear of potentially huge economic losses, the Swedes may soon be vindicated by the EU Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species, which has agreed to review the Scandinavian country's request to classify the American lobster as an invasive species. But what is an invasive alien species, anyway?
"Invasive Alien Species are animals and plants that are introduced accidentally or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found, with serious negative consequences for their new environment," according to the EU Forum. "They represent a major threat to native plants and animals in Europe, causing damage worth billions of euros to the European economy every year."
Sweden's Agency for Marine and Water Management recently published a report calling for drastic measures in dealing with the possibility of American lobsters becoming an underwater occupying force. "A ban on live import of H. americanus to Europe is considered to be required and will protect the risk assessment area from being invaded by this species, as alternative measures are estimated as being not enough risk reducing enough, or economically and technically feasible."
In other words, there is a chance that Europe could ban American lobster, which would cost fishermen in Canada and the US $200 million in exports. Needless to say, this has the North American lobster industry freaking out a little bit. "Is this really about invasion of a species or invasion of [an] economy?" Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen's Association told the Washington Post, suggesting that the call for a ban has more to do with money that with marine life.
"It's not like there is an army of Homarus americanus marching around in European waters," Casoni added, insisting that the Swedes are being a little alarmist by treating Homarus americanus "like a lob-zilla or something."
The Forum's decision regarding American lobster is scheduled to made in April, but until then, Sweden should chill out and try to boil as much Homarus americanus as possible. They might change their mind; aliens can be delicious.