Sweden proposes EU ban on live American lobsters

Sweden proposes EU ban on live American lobsters
The American lobster, an example above, is larger than its European cousin. Photo: Pat Wellenbach, AP/File)
The Swedish government said on Friday it had asked the European Union to block the import of live American lobster, in a bid to avoid contamination of its native species.

More than 30 American lobsters have been discovered off Sweden's west coast in recent years, the government said.

“American lobster can carry diseases and parasites that can spread to the European lobster and cause extremely high mortality,” Environment Minister Asa Romson said in a statement.

Interbreeding of species could lead to negative genetic effects and threaten the survival of the European species, the ministry said in its statement.

“Sweden has now formally requested that American lobster be put on the EU's list of invasive alien species,” the statement said.

“Listing American lobster means a ban on imports of live American lobsters at EU level,” it said.

The European lobster is relatively small and delicate compared to its larger American cousin.