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. Yoda

    Bobby, send him back 🙂

    June 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. V Lob

    Give it to the aquarium in Toronto! This will ensure that many people see it.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • oddsbotkins

      Yeah Bobby! – Save 'im and send 'im to the new Toronto aquarium and make sure they spell your name correctly.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhoKnewIt...

      It's picture is on the front page of CNN....we all saw it. Now let it go to live it's life where it belongs, back in the ocean...

      June 11, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Doosh-LaRooush

    It sounded most probably more like "we gotten us a purty lobster hea"

    June 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SPW

    Didn't a rare lobster just get saved from being someone's dinner in a cheap restaurant? They should send this one off to wherever that lobster ended up.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Johnny Cage

    Lobster Smurf

    June 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Catherine

    Can't believe he's not going to set it free. What a creep.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Common Sense

    And this is in national news because...?

    June 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wheresdabutter

    Sell it! I bet that sucker tastes awesome

    June 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Paul

    Blue...Lobster Cult?
    "Baby, I've got a fever. And the only prescription...is MORE COWBELL!!!"___Bruce Dickinson

    June 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mikeinwyoming

    Some 15 years ago my wife at the time and I were traveling / sightseeing in the fall through New England. We came to a seaside town in Rhode Island one evening and decided to stay the night. Walking down to the boats in the harbor the next morning we blithely walked into a 'fish market' if that's what you call it... the back was over the water and boats seemed to pull up to it / below it and unload their catch. The front was like a regular store is but not stocked with much... anyway in we walked and after a little bit of small talk about us being from Wyoming, they said they had something to show us. It was a blue lobster just like the one above in this story. I took a few pics of it and thought nothing more about it. I guess I didn't understand how rare it was!

    June 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Regis990

    Just because the lobster is blue that doesn't mean it's a democrat, settle down.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Guac

    Free Smurfy! All you need is a picture and a video of it. Really cool to see it though. Thanks!

    June 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • narjun

      lobsters turn red when cooked.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Darwin

    I wonder what color it turns when you cook it...

    June 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank Garrett

    He looks delicious!

    June 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. M. Robinson

    What a beautiful creature! Either give it to the Toronto Aquarium, or set it free. Of course, if he sets it free, another unscrupulous lobsterman just may sell it with his other catches...this beauty deserves to be showcased somewhere. Just georgeous!

    June 11, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
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