King Writes Letter to Unicode Consortium in Support of Lobster Emoji

Senator Angus King wrote to the Unicode Consortium today requesting it include a new lobster emoji in the 2018 release of its standard character set. The new emoji would be available for use on social media platforms and smartphones.

Currently, emoji exist for crabs, shrimp, fish, and other marine animals, but not lobsters. A lobster emoji, however, is currently short-listed to be added in, subject to approval by the Consortium’s Technical Committee at its quarterly meeting in October.

“The members of the Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) know better than most that emoji have become an increasingly important medium for communication, and that individuals and businesses have benefitted from being able to use a growing set of emoji options,” Senator King wrote. “And people in Maine—as well as others across the world—understand that the lobster is a culturally- and economically-important animal. In fact, the lobster catch in Maine alone was worth more than $500 million in 2016 and there is significant demand for lobsters in North America, China, Italy, and the Republic of Korea. With these considerations in mind, I respectfully request that the UTC include the Draft Candidate lobster emoji in Unicode Version 11.0, so that people who fish, process, serve, eat, or otherwise admire the lobster can accurately express themselves in emoji form.”

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that manages the standard set of characters (e.g., letters, numbers, symbols, emojis) that are used by most major websites, applications, and operating systems. The Consortium annually updates the Unicode Standard, and invites public proposals for new additions.

The letter comes days ahead of National Lobster Day, which is celebrated on September 25, 2017.