ROCKLAND, Maine — Maine lobster industry leader Linda Bean said the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is waging a full-scale attack on the lobster industry.
Bean responded Thursday by email about the international animal rights organization that has criticized Bean’s lobster processing plant method as horrific abuse for the crustaceans. PETA took credit this week for causing Delaware North Companies to stop buying Bean’s lobsters. Delaware North provides concessions to Target Field, the Minnesota Twins stadium that is hosting this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and TD Garden in Boston, home of the Bruins and Celtics.
“What we have been witnessing for months is a truly radicalized organization, PETA, launching a campaign in Maine,” Bean said. “Many here in Maine are seeing it as a full-scale attack on the lobster industry.”
She maintained that her processing plant in Rockland processes lobsters virtually the same way as most other plants in Maine and Canada.
“The lobster industry is too important a pillar in Maine’s economy to allow this to continue. Thousands of Maine jobs are affected in key industries including our fisheries, maritime businesses, wholesale and retail markets, tourism, and Maine’s very active restaurant industry. Maine would not be the same if it lost this vital industry that supports and sustains so many jobs and families,” she said.
The lobster company owner said the attack by PETA comes on the heels of the Maine Legislature voting to spend millions of dollars for a new marketing effort to grow markets for the state’s most valuable seafood.
“PETA begins to maraud across America, destroying such new market relationships. PETA has, for example, taken aim at my company’s new markets for our latest new product, the lobsticle (a lobster tail on a stick). Using tactics of business interference with the producers and customers of Maine lobster are unwanted, un-American and unacceptable,” Bean said. “I will continue to advance my business and moral support of our Maine fishing families and I will continue to encourage more eating of Maine lobster.”
She said her processing methods meet or exceed industry standards and regulations. Bean has previously said she expects to buy 10 million pounds of lobsters in 2014. About 126 million pounds of lobsters were landed in Maine last year.
“Contrary to PETA’s allegations, we do not violate any animal cruelty statutes. That was affirmed by the Knox County District Attorney’s Office by its rejection of the baseless complaint filed there by PETA,” Bean said.
She said all the lobster her company offers is certified sustainable by the international Marine Stewardship Council, making its eligible for the ecolabel of the most respected certifier of fisheries in the world.
“In no uncertain terms, we will defend Maine’s lobster industry and the many communities and businesses that it sustains. My staff, plant workers, fishermen and I, as well others up and down our coast who are proud to play a role in this important industry, will continue to work toward further expansion of our industry’s vitality, both in Maine and across the country,” she said.