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EU rebuffs Swedish call to ban North American lobster imports

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has rebuffed a Swedish push to ban live imports of a species of North American lobsters it saw encroaching on its shores, in a reprieve for U.S. and Canadian fishermen.

A European Commission official told Reuters on Friday that Sweden's proposal to blacklist the crustaceans had failed to find support in the EU's Committee on Invasive Alien Species.

The ban would have come at a heavy cost for U.S. fisherman, dependent on a steady appetite from European restaurant goers.

However, the official said the EU executive could explore other "less trade distortive measures" to respond to Sweden's concerns.

Since lobsters have spread from the coast of Maine to Europe's northern shores in recent years, Sweden has sought to protect its own domestic brand of crustaceans and other wildlife from the intruders by banning imports of live lobsters.


(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Sandra Maler)