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. Bleh64

    They all turn red in once you cook em!!!!

    June 12, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Desdamona

      How do you know? It may turn purple when cooked.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

      They are all pink on the inside.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Josh

    "A genetic variation causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein that gives it that azure aspect."

    I wonder if this particular protein is safe to eat?

    June 12, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      Yes it is.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. blue around the collar...I mean claw

    To beautiful to eat, auction off or kill. Give nature back its creation.

    June 12, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. everything is better with butter


    June 12, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. little flap

    keeping them for breeding, (farming them), might prove to be a good idea, since no radioactive/Nuclear contamination leaking into the oceans can get to them that way.

    June 12, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    So much for trying to share your love of the ocean and its special creatures with the rest of the world. When its finally over, you will be much happier knowing being a fisherman is a blessing as opposed to having a job where your every move or decision is critized. Do what you think is best and whatg makes you happy and don;t worry about what any other person thinks. Personally, I would tag it with your phone number and return it to the ocean.

    June 12, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Yonyo

    Definitely donate it to an aquarium. He might be tax deductible.

    June 12, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    How about new restaurant chain called "Blue Lobster"? Just one restaurant per country.

    June 12, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. SoulCatcher

    That's a zombie lobster!

    June 12, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Samuel R. Preston, III

    May we worship it?

    June 12, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nick Bruiser

    rock lobster

    June 12, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. Michael

    I'm not impressed.

    I had blue lobsters in college to clean up the carcasses the piranhas left behind.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      You didn't have lobsters. Piranhas are fresh warm water fish. This species of lobster is a cold salt water crustacean. I'm guessing you had blue crayfish (Procambarus alleni) – which are also sold as blue freshwater lobsters.Their natural coloring is blue – unlike this lobster which is a rare genetic variant. So you are only unimpressed because you aren't aware of the facts.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Glenda

    I think the world has seen it now in pictures. Put it back in the sea and let it live.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Yes, it is cool to see, but the sea is it's home where it belongs.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sourav

    I liked the simplicity of Stoddard. Hard to find these days..

    June 12, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jen

    Try putting it back in the ocean and leaving it be.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jenickki

      I couldn't agree more. Why is it that man must kill and capture everything that is rare or sacred.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
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