A catch straight out of the deep blue sea
Canadian lobsterman Bobby Stoddard caught this rare blue lobster in early May. He's not sure what to do with it.
June 11th, 2012
09:46 PM ET

A catch straight out of the deep blue sea

A rare event is said to happen once in a blue moon. But a blue moon has nothing on a blue lobster.

Canadian lobster boat captain Bobby Stoddard said he and his crew were hauling in their lobster traps one day in early May when one of the men called out, "Hey, we got a pretty one in this trap!"

"I turned around and said, 'Holy smoke!' " said Stoddard, 51, of Clarks Harbour, Nova Scotia.

In the trap with three other, ordinary greenish-brown lobsters was a remarkably bright blue one, the first lobster of that hue Stoddard had seen in his 33 years of fishing for a living.

"This is the only one that I've ever seen," he told CNN. "And my dad has been a lobsterman of about 55 years, and he caught one about 45 years ago, but hadn't seen one since."

Bobby Stoddard, lobster hunter

Stoddard captains one lobster boat, his father another, and his three brothers work with them. On a good day, they haul in about 3,000 of the crustaceans, he said. Multiply that times 33 seasons, and that's a lot of lobsters. But only one blue one.

According to the University of Maine Lobster Institute, blue lobsters are a one-in-2-million phenomenon. A genetic variation causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein that gives it that azure aspect.

Stoddard offered his find (a male, by the way) to a nearby ocean research institute, but "they didn't seem too interested," he said.

His girlfriend pushed him to offer it for sale for on the classified-ad site Kajiji.com, he said. Having no idea what the market for a 1.5-pound blue lobster might be, he priced it at $200.

"I wanted to put a number high enough on it so nobody would be interested in it," Stoddard confessed.

However, he said he started to get some "weird" phone calls and e-mails scolding him for trying to sell such a rare creature, so he canceled the ad.

"I'm kind of a shy guy," he said. "When things get controversial, I kind of go hide. This is what I do for a living; I catch lobsters and sell them. I'm just trying to do the right thing. I thought, 'I just don't need this hassle.' "

For now, the cerulean crustacean is residing comfortably in a nice, cold holding tank at Stoddard's business, feeding on bits of fish and mollusks as normal. A massive aquarium is under construction near the CN Tower in Toronto, but Stoddard hasn't decided whether to offer his specimen for display there.

"I don't know what the best thing is to do," he said. "It probably belongs back in the ocean, but I'd like for as many people as possible to see it."

Related stories:

Blue lobsters aren't the only rare ones - what about calico lobsters?

And then of course, there are always really, really big lobsters as well.

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Filed under: Animals • Canada • Food • Lobsters • Science
soundoff (593 Responses)
  1. Lauria

    The good lord bestows many wonderful things on man kind from time to time.A creature this special should be put in an aquarium to live it's life out and for our children to see. Given the opportunity to see something this special a lesson of appeciation and conservation could be learned by the younger generation which is much needed these days.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      I have a better idea. While it is in the tank, take plenty of video for posterity. Then, take it back to it's home in the sea. I don't think this lobster was born for human amusement.

      June 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unbeliever

      Too bad "the good lord" doesn't really exist. Maybe if he did the oceans wouldn't be dying at the hands of mankind.

      June 17, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • jason

      your FAKE god has nothing to do with this so keep your fake god crap to your self get a job

      June 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tebowg

      No. The good lord doesn't do anything because the good lord doesn't exist.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • SL

      "The good lord put it here for us to put it in an aquarium"?!?! I cant wait for some superior 'being' to put you in an aquarium!

      June 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      So the Good Lord put the blue lobster in the ocean so it could be kept in an aquarium and be seen by lots of children?

      Why didn't the Good Lord just cut out the middleman and put it directly in the aquarium?

      June 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Flamespeak

    Pretty lobster. Donating it to an aquarium to live out the rest of its days in a relatively safe and secure enviorment with plenty of food and mates would be a good thing.

    In regards to people talking about the act of cooking and eating lobsters, most places actually sever the brain and kill the creature before killing it these days. It is so fast that the animals small brain can't process the pain quick enough for it to register the death until way after it is already dead. Still, lobster is good eating and the thought of killing my meal never bothered me much, growing up on what many would consider a small farm, I had to kill plenty of cows, pigs, chickens, and goats over the years.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Messy

      I doubt that. lobsters are cannibles and would eat it with relish.

      June 14, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • ScottC

      Ok just a quick couple of points here to clear up...

      1. most places actually sever the brain and kill the creature before killing it these days.
      So they kill the creature before killing it?

      2. the animals small brain can't process the pain quick enough for it to register the death until way after it is already dead.
      So they do not register the death until way after it is already dead?

      Just saying.

      June 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tebowg

      lobsters aren't animals.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      "...kill the creature before killing it..."

      Ummm – how does that work exactly?

      June 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sprolesman

    By now most of the world has seen this, so i'd say take pics and video of you with the little blue guy and throw him back.
    We can still eat his red brothers and sisters. I can see a cartoon being made of a "Larry the blue Lobster"

    June 14, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Canuck

    FYI but the site is kijiji.ca, not kajiji.ca

    June 14, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. athiest

    The right thing to do would be to release it, but then someone else will just catch it, or it'll get killed in the wild.
    A life in a protected aquarium might not be so bad.
    I don't boil or eat lobsters. It's a sickening way to kill a creature.

    June 14, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tebowg

      No it's not. They don't feel jack. Who really cares anyway?

      June 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. stoptherain

    Roaches of the sea...Eat up!

    June 14, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. riamb60

    The Audubon society in Bristol RI used to have a blue lobster in one of their tanks, but I have heard they released it a few years ago.

    June 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Guest

    Someday lobsters will get smart enough to paint themselves
    Until then I doubt they even know where they're at

    June 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Longlife

    Blue, blue, my world is blue, blue is my world now I'm without you.
    Gray, gray, my life is gray, cold is my heart since you went a – way.
    Red, red, my eyes are red, cry – ing for you a – lone in my bed.
    Green, green, my jea – lous heart, I doubt – ed you and now we're a - part.
    When we met, how the bright sun shone.
    Then love died, now the rain – bow is gone.
    Black, black, the nights I've known, long – ing for you so lost and a - lone.
    Blue, blue, my world is blue, blue is my world now I'm without you.
    I'm without you.--
    ""Love is blue" I hope so, because it is my favorite color. A walk with you under a blue sky.with Blue flowers smiling on the hill side.A little cheese,a little wine,blue birds flying in the sky.Blue grass from glen to glen. Blue st more...reams flowing with-in. What else can i say except "love is blue"

    June 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Erwin Godfrey

    In his position, I'd do one of two things:
    1.Save it for a feast as the main course for a guest of honour.
    or
    2. Have it killed and perserved as a trophy for my living room or a piece for a museum.

    June 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. You people are dumb

    You can't just breed it with "other blue lobsters" and assume they will have blue offspring.... that's not how it works....

    I would pay $500 for it, keep it alive until basketball season, then cook it when UNC beats Duke. Throwing him in the boiling water would produce a sound like those heard from Durham.... j/k. I would eat it though.

    June 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Amy

    I agree with Chris (June 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm) – " I have a better idea. While it is in the tank, take plenty of video for posterity. Then, take it back to it's home in the sea. I don't think this lobster was born for human amusement."

    June 19, 2012 at 4:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. TrueBlue

    I think they may release the lobster. It's interesting to read how many feel passionately about a unique lobster. How many are really just callous to the fact that it's a amazing specimen, something extremely rare.

    July 2, 2012 at 5:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Grant65

    WOW....someone finally found it!! I caught that lobster 2 years ago, my daugter painted it blue and flushed it down the toilet....congrats!

    July 9, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
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