Biden’s lavish lobster dinner doesn’t change his hostility to the seafood industry, fishing groups say

FIRST ON FOX: A pair of fish and seafood associations weighed in on President Biden’s upcoming lavish lobster dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Biden faced backlash on Twitter Wednesday night from Maine Democratic Rep. Jared Golden at his upcoming Thursday seafood dinner with Macron featuring Maine lobster.

Golden slammed the president for not meeting Maine lobsters after he promised to protect the ruling seafood industry.


President Biden has been the target of online criticism from Maine Democratic Rep. Jared Golden over his upcoming Thursday seafood dinner with Macron featuring Maine lobster.
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Bob Vanasse, executive director of Saving Seafood, praised Golden for calling Biden on the issue and said his organization has struggled to meet with the current administration.

Vanasse said it’s not just lobster, but other seafood industries like tuna and swordfish, are having trouble meeting the White House.

“I commend the congressman for exposing the administration’s hypocrisy with respect to our national fisheries and their policies,” Vanasse said.

“It’s not the first time something like this has happened, but it’s good to see, and especially a Democrat is pointing it out because this administration frankly hasn’t been friendly or helpful to our security industry. national fisheries,” he continued.

Vanasse said “the most egregious example of this was last summer with regard to the Atlantic Marine Monument, which President Obama created with very little scientific support using the Antiquities Act.” . He noted that moving the monument prevents tuna, lobster and swordfish fishing and that “the enduring red crab industry of the United States is also being forced out of this area.”

“We spent three years working with the Trump administration to overturn President Obama’s ban on commercial fishing in this area,” Vanasse said. “And they did a very diligent job of reviewing the science before agreeing to lift the ban and allow our fishermen into that area.”

Vanasse said the Biden administration failed to follow through on its policymaking with science over politics and that when it was “fighting for our offshore lobster industry, our red crab industry, our fishermen and our tuna fishermen” last summer, she “had an hour to advocate for the industry with Department of the Interior staff even before there was a Senate-confirmed secretary in place.”

Workers carry containers with lobsters at The Lobster Co. in Arundel, Maine, U.S., January 24, 2022. TO GO WITH: "Economic Watch: US lobster set to fuel another Chinese New Year as demand soars"

Workers transport containers of lobsters at The Lobster Co. in Arundel, Maine, U.S., January 24, 2022. TO GO WITH: ‘Economic watch: U.S. lobster set to feed another Chinese New Year as the demand explodes”
(Wang Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images)

He said on Columbus Day last year, the Biden administration cut off their “fishermen’s right to fish for lobster, crab, swordfish and tuna” in Bears Ears National Monument, adding that “this administration was very much in bed with the most extreme environmentalists.”

“And I mean, in terms of the monument, it’s not surprising because the champion of the monument in the Obama administration was Monica Medina, and she’s married to Ron Klain, who is the chief of staff of the White House. So when we were fighting for these fisheries, we couldn’t get the Democrats to stand up to the White House. They basically just told us they tried. They called [the Department of the Interior], they called the White House. They were basically told there was no way, because if Trump did it, it had to be wrong, and so they were going to reverse what Trump had done. No science, no study. An hour of communication with the whole with all the people who represent these commercial fisheries that have been affected.”

Vanasse said the White House probably served tuna and swordfish in addition to lobster and he thinks Golden’s speaking “will actually get the president’s attention and maybe we can maybe actually get the kind of attention from the Biden administration that we were able to get from the Trump administration and that our fishermen are not treated like second-class citizens.”

Vanasse said he doesn’t believe Biden “has personally done much for the fishing industry” and has “delegated it to named people in his administration.”

Regarding the dinner, Vanasse praised the White House for “mocking” the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch program and Whole Foods for blindly following Seafood Watch” and that he was “thrilled to see it done and for them to take a New England domestic fishery and serve it.”

“That’s what the White House should be doing. They should be doing this more. But it’s kind of hypocritical at the same time to go ahead with regulations that harm our national fisheries and also serve the product You know, they try to have their lobster and eat it too, so to speak.

French President Emmanuel Macron will attend the Biden administration's first state dinner.

French President Emmanuel Macron will attend the Biden administration’s first state dinner.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Melaina Lewis, director of communications for the National Fisheries Institute, praised the White House for featuring Maine lobster as a “marquee dish” for its state dinner with Macron and that they hope the president will redouble his efforts. efforts to protect the lobster industry.

“Having Maine lobster as a signature dish at a White House State Dinner sends the message that this is one of the most sustainable fisheries in the world, not to mention delicious,” said said Lewis.

“We hope the President will share the story of this iconic fishery with his guests and redouble his efforts to protect the livelihoods of the men and women who harvest and care for the resource,” she continued.

The day before the dinner, where guests are expected to enjoy lobster and caviar, Golden took to Twitter to urge Biden to meet the lobsters his administration is “currently regulating closed of business.”


“If the Biden White House can prioritize buying 200 Maine lobsters for a fancy dinner, [Biden] should also take the time to meet with the Maine lobster fishers his administration is currently regulating for business closure,” Golden said in a tweet.

The red, white, and blue-themed dinner with Macron, France’s first lady Brigitte Macron and others will be the first state visit Biden has allowed to the White House since 2021, as other events were canceled in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawrence Richard of Fox News Digital contributed reporting.


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