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."
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."
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.
$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.
donate it to the aquarium – it will live a long and happy life never to be caught in a trap again
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
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!
Norwalk Aquarium! Fun...
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.
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.
And not one shiny joke has been typed.
Dibs on the claws! And pass the little dish of melted butter.
I want to see them mate it with the Calico lobster
Why all the fuss – cook and eat it!
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.
I got a baby chick the same color one easter.
What did it taste like?
What a good guy! Forget the lobster, he himself needs to be sure to pass on his 'thoughtfulness' genes.
It belongs on my dinner plate! Ante up!
It's beautiful, and you're sick
one in 2 million- pretty, pretty good.
Ask the guy if he could find me one with purple and green polka dots.