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Document Type

Article

Abstract

In 2014 the European Union enacted the “Prevention and Management of the Introduction and Spread of Invasive Alien Species Act” (Act) as a way to restrict the transportation and consumption of non-native animal and plant species that harmed native animal and plant species. As a result of this Act, thirty-seven species were deemed “invasive alien species” and were placed on a “list of Union concern” which restricted their importation and movement within the EU. Two species on this list include the Virile Crayfish (Orconectes virilis) and the Pond Slider (Trachemys scripta). On February 29, 2016, Sweden (a European Union member) petitioned the European Union to add the American Lobster (Homarus americanus) onto the list of Union concern through the statutory mechanisms provided within the Act. This would have been done by examining a scientific risk assessment completed by Sweden, which detailed the environmental harms the American Lobster caused on native species and habitat, and determine whether these harms met the requirements under the Act that would allow the European Union to place the American Lobster on the list of Union concern. However, before this determination was completed, the European Union, due to political pressure from other European Union countries whom import many tons of American Lobsters for consumption, halted this process and the American Lobster was spared from being placed on the list of Union concern. This comment analyzes the Act and the risk assessment created by Sweden, and it concludes the American Lobster did not meet the requirements under the Act that would allow the European Union to place the species in the list of Union concern. However, the European Union should have made this determination through the framework of the Act and not through political pressure. Moreover, this comment analyzes the risk assessments of the Pond Slider and the Virile Crayfish and determines that the European Union does not uniformly apply the Act’s criteria to all species on the list of Union concern; the European Union added a species onto the list of Union concern that did not meet all the criteria within the Act.

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