Media quote Bayer in reports on lobster sedation method

The Portland Press Herald, The Washington Post, the Bangor Daily NewsU.S. News & World Report and the Mount Desert Islander quoted Robert Bayer, the former executive director of the University of Maine Lobster Institute, in reports on a restaurant in Southwest Harbor that has tested a method of using marijuana to sedate lobsters before boiling them. The restaurant’s owner said the method could be a more humane way of cooking the lobsters, and that the drug will break down during cooking so its effects won’t carry over to consumers of the lobster. Bayer said the amount of the drug used and its effects on lobster are unknown, and he is not aware of any scientific studies on the topic. The lobster used to test the method showed a lack of aggression, which Bayer said is not unusual because lobsters do not use their claws as weapons. And he’s not sure a sedative would make the lobster’s death less traumatic, the Press Herald reported. “When you put them in boiling water, the primitive nervous system that does exist is destroyed so quickly they’re unlikely to feel anything at all,” said Bayer. “They can sense their environment, but they probably don’t have the ability to process pain,” he told the Post. Anchorage Daily NewsThe Keene Sentinel and the Telegram & Gazette published the Post article, and The Times Record published the Press Herald article.