J's Oyster called for a Whole Foods boycott over claims it would stop selling live lobster.
J’s Oyster called for a boycott of Wholes Foods over claims the chain would no longer sell live lobsters. Credit: CBS 13

A popular restaurant in Portland called for a boycott of Whole Foods on Sunday over claims the grocery store chain is no longer selling live lobster.

The Facebook post from J’s Oyster claimed Whole Foods will stop carrying live lobsters over concerns that it’s inhumane. The original post has been shared thousands of times.

Whole Foods decided back in 2006 to stop selling live lobster. A company spokesperson said the only exception is the Portland location, which has been selling live lobster since opening in 2007.

The social media manager for J’s said she didn’t know that when news articles about the decision recently resurfaced online, and that’s why she created the post, to show the restaurant’s support for Maine lobstermen.

A Whole Foods spokesperson said the chain will continue to sell lobster certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. That would include Maine lobster, which is certified until next January.

In a new post Monday evening, J’s said it decided to leave the original post up because it generated discussion about the lobster industry.

That comes as many retailers plan to pull lobster from their stocks after Seafood Watch, which rates the sustainability of different seafoods, added the American and Canadian lobster fisheries to its “red list” of species to avoid. The red listing has been met with a fierce backlash.