Maine Congressman Jared Golden and Senator Angus King on Wednesday announced they will introduce the Red Listing Monterey Bay Aquarium Act in the US Congress to prohibit federal taxpayer funds from going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The move follows a September decision by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program to list American-caught Atlantic lobster on its "avoid" or "red" list, which means consumers should avoid purchasing the product.

Seafood Watch, which guides purchases by many foodservice and retail buyers in the United States, changed its advice on lobster following a blanket rating applying to all fisheries "known to entangle the endangered North Atlantic right whale," including pots or set gillnets.

Following the move, politicians in Maine, where the lobster industry contributes substantially to the local economy, called on the organization to reverse what they call an "irresponsible decision."

In announcing the bill Wednesday, Rep. Golden and Sen. King said the aquarium has received nearly $197 million (€199 million) in federal funding since 2001.

“Institutions like Monterey Bay Aquarium that claim to be scientific but openly flout available evidence and data should not receive taxpayer funds. It’s that simple,” said Congressman Golden.

“There has never been a serious injury or death of the endangered North Atlantic right whale attributed to the Maine lobster fishery, and to make recommendations or regulations in spite of that fact is a slap in the face to lobstermen and their families.”

Sen. King called the listing "a baseless attack on a proud, sustainable fishery and a clear attempt to put thousands of Maine people out of work."

Maine Senator Susan Collins and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree will cosponsor the legislation.

"Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be funding this kind of activism, which aims to deter restaurants and retailers from selling Maine lobster, threatening the livelihoods of hardworking men and women across the state of Maine" Sen. Collins said.

The lawmakers wrote to the Monterey Bay Aquarium shortly after the red listing decision was made public, calling on the organization to immediately reverse the decision and to remedy the significant harm they have already caused the iconic industry.

The Congressional delegation also published an open letter to retailers urging them to continue selling lobster. Senator King continued these calls in a press conference he held shortly after the Red Listing decision.