Lobsters and restaurants

 

Sir, – The National Animal Rights Association, which released lobsters in Clontarf, having removed them from a restaurant, may have been unaware of the environmental risks their actions may have caused (“Nine lobsters ‘liberated’ from Dublin city centre restaurant”, May 11th).

Many lobsters that are imported to Ireland are a different but related species originating from the eastern coast of North America.

The two species are difficult to tell apart.

Should the released lobsters have been from America, this could lead to the hybridisation with our native lobster, as well as the release to the wild of a debilitating lobster disease, gaffkaemia.

In Europe there are concerns about hybridisation with our native lobster, and locally in Europe hybrids of the two species have been found, the long-term consequences of which are not currently known. Gaffkaemia has previously been found in Europe following releases to the wild.

Such “mercy” releases of non-native species could compromise the future of our natural resources and their management. – Yours, etc,

Dr DAN MINCHIN,

Killaloe,

Co Clare.

Sir, – The high-profile liberation of lobsters from a tank in a Dublin restaurant has attracted considerable media attention. Deservedly so, because, generally speaking, even the most fervent meat-eaters like to think that the creatures killed for their meals are humanely dispatched. But that can never be said of lobsters.

Captive-bolt pistols and other means of ensuring that the non-humans we eat do not suffer unduly prior to their ultimate sacrifice for us are denied to lobsters. Some lobsters are literally boiled alive.

I know many people who are committed carnivores but who shun lobster for that reason. – Yours, etc,

JOHN FITZGERALD,

Callan,

Co Kilkenny.