Food

The decision is based on the impact of fishing in the Gulf of Maine on the endangered right whales.

Whole Foods has approximately 500 locations nationwide. Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg

Whole Foods locations will temporarily stop selling Gulf of Maine lobster after the fishery certification was suspended last week.

The Maritime Stewardship Council says yes decision was based on an independent fisheries risk audit North Atlantic right whales.

“These third-party verifications and assessments are critical to maintaining the integrity of our standards for all wild-caught seafood found in our seafood division,” a Whole Foods spokesperson said NECN. The chain will continue to sell lobsters that were purchased prior to the suspension.

“We are closely monitoring this situation and are committed to working with suppliers, fisheries and environmental groups as it develops,” the grocery chain said.

Whole Foods, which has over 500 locations nationwidefollows other companies such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh in announcing that they will no longer offer New England seafood.

The Gulf of Maine lobster lost another sustainability label in September after it received a “red” designation from Seafood Watch. According to the environmental organization, lobsters are harvested in a way that could harm the right whale population in the North Atlantic.

Judgment of the court of July 2022 acquired by Maine Public found that the lobster industry does not adequately regulate the risk of whales becoming entangled in fishing gear, which is potentially fatal to endangered species.

Whole Foods said it will resume buying Gulf of Maine lobster once the fishery is MSC certified again or if Seafood Watch’s rating goes up from red.

Marianne Lacroix, Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, Maine Public said that the decision will affect the livelihoods of local lobster fishers.

“Fishermen have been working for 25 years to make their gear safe for right whales. So for a large customer who doesn’t wear the product, it’s not only disappointing, but of course it can have an impact on their business as well,” she said.

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