Environmental groups are once again at odds with politicians and fishermen in New England in the wake of a decision by high-end retail giant Whole Foods to stop selling Maine lobster. Whole Foods recently said that it will stop selling lobster from the Gulf of Maine at hundreds of its stores around the country. The company cited decisions by a pair of sustainability organizations to take away their endorsements of the U.S. lobster fishing industry. The organizations, Marine Stewardship Council and Seafood Watch, both cited concerns about risks to rare North Atlantic right whales from fishing gear. Entanglement in gear is one of the biggest threats to the whales. The decision by Whole Foods was an “important action to protect the highly endangered” whale, said Virginia Carter, an associate with the Save America’s Wildlife Campaign at Environment America Research & Policy Center. “With fewer than 340 North Atlantic right whales in existence, the species is swimming toward extinction unless things turn around,” Carter said.
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