The Provincial Government has said a decision by the organization Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch that adds snow crab and lobster harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador to the group’s “avoid’ list is unwarranted and irresponsible.
The US-based organization recently released an updated seafood rating that placed North American lobster and Canadian snow crab in the ’avoid’ category. Some retailers and consumers in North America and worldwide use these rankings to help make seafood buying decisions.
The listing is based on the potential impact for North Atlantic Right Whales to become entangled in fishing gear. However, the judgement fails to recognize that this species is not commonly found in traditional snow crab and lobster fishing grounds frequented by Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters.
In addition, there has been significant effort over recent years by the Canadian snow crab and lobster sectors to introduce measures to avoid potential conflicts with North Atlantic Right Whales, which does not appear to have been considered by Seafood Watch.
The seafood industry remains an integral component of the provincial economy, employing over 17,000 people from over 400 communities throughout the province. In 2021, the total value of the province’s fishing sector was $1.6 billion dollars, with the most significant portion from snow crab. This marks the seventh consecutive year the value of seafood products has surpassed $1 billion.Source : GOV.NL.CA