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.
On Wednesday evening, Democratic Maine Rep. Biden received criticism on Twitter. Jared Golden discussed with Macron his upcoming Thursday seafood dinner that will include Maine lobster.
Golden criticized the president for not hosting a meeting with Maine lobstermen after making a campaign pledge to defend the seafood sector.
Saving Seafood’s executive director, Bob Vanasse praised Golden for calling Biden out on the matter and claimed that his group has had difficulty meeting with the current administration.
Vanasse claimed that meeting with the White House was difficult for the tuna and swordfish industries as well as the lobster industry.
“I applaud the congressman for calling out the administration’s hypocrisy when it comes to our domestic fisheries and their policies,” Vanasse said.
“This is not the first time that something like this has happened, but it is good to see, and particularly a Democrat pointing it out because this administration has frankly not been friendly or helpful to our domestic fishing industry,” he continued.
Vanasse said, “the most egregious example of that was last summer with regard to President Obama using the Antiquities Act to establish the Atlantic Marine Monument, which had little scientific support.” He noted that the monument move prevents tuna, lobster, and swordfish fishing and that America’s “sustainable red crab industry is being kicked out of that area,” as well.
“We spent three years working with the Trump administration to reverse President Obama’s ban on commercial fishing in that area,” Vanasse said. “Prior to removing the ban and allowing our fishermen to fish in that area, they were very careful to carefully consider the science.”
Vanasse said that the Biden administration has not followed through on its policymaking with science over politics and that when they “were fighting for our offshore lobster industry, our red crab industry, our fishermen and our tuna fishermen” last summer, they “got one hour to defend the industry with staff at the even before a secretary appointed by the Senate was in place at the Interior Department.”
He said that on Columbus Day last year, the Biden administration cut off their “fishermen’s right to fish for lobster, crab, swordfish, and tuna” in the Bears Ears National Monument, adding that “this administration has been very much in bed with the more extreme environmentalists.”
“And I mean, with regard to 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’s the White House chief of staff,” said Vanasse. “Because of this, we were unable to persuade any Democrats to oppose the White House when we were fighting for those fisheries. They essentially just told us that they had tried. They contacted the White House and [the Department of the Interior]. They were basically told there was no way because if Trump did it, it had to be bad, and they were going to undo what Trump did. One hour of communication with everyone who represents the affected commercial fisheries, with no science or research involved.”
Vanasse said that the White House has likely served tuna and swordfish in addition to lobster, and he thinks Golden’s speaking out “will actually get the president’s attention, and perhaps maybe we can actually get the kind of attention from the We were able to obtain the Biden administration from the Trump administration and stop having our fishermen treated like second-class citizens.”
Vanasse said he does not believe Biden “has personally done much of anything for the fishing industry” and has “delegated it to appointees in his administration.”
Regarding the dinner, Vanasse praised the White House for “thumbing their nose” at “the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program and at Whole Foods for blindly following Seafood Watch” and that he was “delighted to see them do that and for them to take a serve the domestic fishing in New England.”
He continued, “The White House needs to take that action. They ought to do this more frequently. However, it also seems a little hypocritical to move forward with regulations that harm our domestic fisheries while also promoting the product. To put it another way, they’re trying to have their lobster and eat it, too.”
Melaina Lewis, communications director for the National Fisheries Institute, praised the White House for featuring Maine lobster as the “marquee dish” for his state dinner with Macron and expressed her hope that the president would step up his efforts to safeguard the lobster industry.
“Featuring Maine Lobster as the marquee dish during a State Dinner at the White House sends a message that it is one of the most sustainable fisheries in the world, not to mention delicious,” Lewis said.
“We are hoping the President will tell his guests the history of this famous fishery and step up efforts to safeguard the livelihoods of those who manage and harvest the resource.”
The night before the dinner, where guests are expected to enjoy lobster and caviar, Golden took to Twitter to urge Biden to meet with the lobstermen his administration is “currently regulating out of business.”
“If the Biden White House can prioritize purchasing 200 Maine lobsters for a fancy dinner, [Biden] should also take the time to meet with the Maine lobstermen his administration is currently regulating out of business,” Golden stated in a tweet.
The red, white, and blue-themed dinner with Macron, France’s first lady Brigitte Macron, and other dignitaries will be the first state visit Biden has permitted at the White House since 2021 as other events had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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