For Immediate Release:
December 1, 2022
Robin Goist 202-483-7382
Bangor, Maine – “Did Your Lobster Kill a Whale?” That’s the question PETA plans to place inside Bangor International Airport in the wake of Whole Foods’ decision to stop selling Maine lobsters in a bid to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, over 85% of whom have been entangled in fishing gear at least once and whose population is reportedly down to fewer than 340.
PETA notes that death due to gear entanglement is one of the biggest threats to right whales’ survival as well as to many of the world’s 85 other cetacean species, and abandoned fishing gear kills 300,000 whalesdolphins, and porpoises annually. The animals are callously referred to as “bycatch,” a euphemism for the nontarget animals who become caught and are then discarded or die.
“Preventing lobsters from being boiled alive and throwing a lifeline to the imperiled whales who deserve to swim free and far in their ocean home is as simple as going vegan,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman.
Earlier this year, PETA posted appeals in the Portland International Jetport urging people to protect right whales by refusing to eat fish, and Gov. Janet Mills unsuccessfully pushed the airport to remove the ads. Since then, Seafood Watch has red-listed Maine lobsters and the Marine Stewardship Council has suspended the industry’s “sustainable” certificate.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—points out that sustainable vegan seafood options are available everywhere in grocery stores, including Gardein’s f’ish filets, Good Catch’s Plant-Based Tuna, New Wave Foods’ plant-based shrimp, and Sophie’s Kitchen’s Vegan Crab Cakes.