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. Saywhatyoumean

    $200 ? I bet someone out there would pay a million for it. Would be cool to see if they could turn this mutation into a breed, but it would probably have to be in captivity.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. cynosure

    donate it to the aquarium – it will live a long and happy life never to be caught in a trap again

    June 12, 2012 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
    • warsteiner

      Yeah and they could breed it I would love to see thousands of babies. It would be cool to see how many turned out blue like this. Im with you let it go or donate it to an Aquarium

      June 12, 2012 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. NatureLover

    Donate it to the Maritime Aquarium in South Norwalk Connecticut. My daughter and I saw one just like this one (not quite as pretty a blue as yours though) just this past weekend. This aquarium has 5 or more unusually colored lobsters in their collection – a couple of bright red ones, 2 blues and a yellow one, I think. They are at 10 North Water Street Norwalk, CT (203) 852-0700. He deserves a chance to show off his pretty colors to herds of school kids!

    June 12, 2012 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Andres

      Norwalk Aquarium! Fun...

      June 12, 2012 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. canadafirstaid

    In the cold Canadian waters north of the coast of Maine, lies a blue coloured lobster caught by 'BlueNosers'. Google the word; i.e. BLUENOSERS and you will understand why this poor fellow turned blue. I agree with mique – let it go. cfa

    p.s. Many are cold but few – turn blue.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. selendis

    fairly certain blue lobsters are bred already. can't sat it is the same species, but you can find blue lobsters for sale in aquarium stores. i was crazy about them when i was a kid. although they were in a small tank, and spent there time trying to rip each other's claws off.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Hyrule

    And not one shiny joke has been typed.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. SlackMeyer

    Dibs on the claws! And pass the little dish of melted butter.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. warsteiner

    I want to see them mate it with the Calico lobster

    June 12, 2012 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. whybs

    Why all the fuss – cook and eat it!

    June 12, 2012 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. j0eschm0e

    they all turn red when cooked, but send it to an aquarium, that one is the blueist ever. dont keep it too long. either an aquarium or let it go.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nick

    I got a baby chick the same color one easter.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Easter chick

      What did it taste like?

      June 12, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. retpoi

    What a good guy! Forget the lobster, he himself needs to be sure to pass on his 'thoughtfulness' genes.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |

    It belongs on my dinner plate! Ante up!

    June 12, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
    • dogs rule

      It's beautiful, and you're sick

      June 12, 2012 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. sburns54

    one in 2 million- pretty, pretty good.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. sburns54

    Ask the guy if he could find me one with purple and green polka dots.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
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