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. creation +


    June 12, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. dirkdiggler

    Dude sell your blue lobster on ebay to the highest bidder. Your a fisherman, selling lobster is what you do. Don't worry about the bleeding hearts.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. SushiMan

    Eat it raw...sushi style, and you too will have that rare special protein in you. Maybe it's got some special powers or something and you could end up with special powers and shtick, like spiderman or something, you could be blue lobster man...the superhero

    June 12, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Imjustsaying

    This guy seems like a good guy. In the business of catching and selling lobsters. The aquarium should just give him the 200 bucks and call it a day. If it is truly that rare then having one in the aquarium would seem to be a no-brainer. We (and the lobster) should be glad he didn't just boil it and eat it like many would.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • willy

      Best suggestion I've seen here. I would like to show such a thing to my kids. I'd pay an extra buck to look at it in an aquarium.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cindy

    Return it where it belongs, to the ocean

    June 12, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Extremophil

    He doesn't know what to do with it? Pass the melted butter, I'll show him.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nef

    Killing a baby blue lobster seems to be horrendous to some? How about the innocent slaughter of 1.4 million innocent babies in America. There is a holocaust raging against the unborn in our country, but hey, who cares? Baby blue lobsters are in peril!

    June 12, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Exactly. Bleeding heart liberals care more about a stupid blue lobster than human babies.

      June 12, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • situationalawareness

      Last I checked, baby humans weren't rare.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Duane

    Put it in a public aquarium for others to enjoy would be my opinion

    June 12, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Hot Carl

    Mate it with a zebra.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    It's probably a sacred Chinese cure for blue balls, or something stupid like that. The Chinks are lining up.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mongo

    Breed it and make a fortune.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. JCD

    I wonder what color it would be when cooked? Would it turn a more vibrant blue? like a neon sign blue? I think he'll venetually put it into the ocean, but he wants to be bale to share its niftiness with the world.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jake

    Boil it, hollow it out, put wheels on it and a motor to make it radio controlled. Then paint an 'S' on its back and watch that S car go.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Zoe

      I'm pretty sure it would need to be a snail for that, but that is a good joke.

      June 12, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. leoo

    in two million? =aquarium and fk the rednecks

    June 12, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kimberly Beveridge

    Take some photos and let the poor creature go!

    June 12, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • John N

      What makes this one any more special than the million others they've caught? Why does it deserve to live and they don't? And honestly, it'd have a much cozier life in a nice aquarium than in the ocean, where it's likely to end up as an afternoon snack.

      June 12, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • rocco

      used to have one as a pet, bought it from walmart fish section, didnt think it was that rare. interesting

      June 12, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Thegoodman

      You are overestimating the intelligence of lobsters. They are roughly as smart as a grasshopper. Its not so much a poor creature as it is a plant that moves.

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