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Proposal to ban lobster

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s governor says the European Union should deny a push from the Swedish government to have American lobster listed as an invasive species.

Sweden has asked the European Union to bar imports of live American lobsters into the 28-nation bloc after 32 American lobsters were found in Swedish waters. Swedish officials say an invasion of American lobsters could outcompete or spread disease to European lobsters.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says the risk of American lobsters establishing a population in Europe is minimal. American and Canadian scientists also have said that the proposed ban isn’t based in sound science.

Maine is by far the biggest lobster producing state in the country. U.S. fishermen caught nearly 150 million pounds of lobster in 2014, and Maine accounted for almost 125 million.