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. Amy

    Take lots of Pictures with friends and family, then take Lenny Lobster back home!

    June 12, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Investor Class

    Breed it with other lobsters and create a new blue lobster industry. In about 5 years, you'd probably be able to sell them to high end resturants/chiefs for a pretty nice price.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Pecan

      Yeah, but will they turn red when cooked?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Flipss87

    there are several ways to dispatch them. Rarely do you need to boil them alive... READ A BOOK OR TWO. Or if that is too much for you watch tv! (Good Eats). 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer and they wont feel a thing. They will be numb due to the slowing down of their metabolism. Or you can take a knife and place point at the top of the head right behind the head at the crease. And push down to the board and chop straight forward bifurcating... then you boil after they are dead. But this blue lobster shouldn't be eaten. Too beautiful.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. Holy Mackeral

    this is just another sign of the end of times coming in December.
    the bible tells of a Canadian finding a blue lobster

    June 12, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lee

    Hopefully they breed it with other lobsters and release the eggs so that its genes get passed on to other generations. If we keep all the cool looking ones, they will disappear from the wild forever.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Charlie Quaker

    Great photo, really beautiful. I think you should care for i well, in a very large tank, t and keep it on display for others to see. I don't know, but I suspect that if you return it to the ocean, it's lifetime would be limited with that coloring. It probably can't hide too well. Survival difficulty may be part of the reason why so few are found.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rodney

    put him in the hot water with some butter and lemon, that's what they shoud do with him

    June 12, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. PantyRaid

    I wonder if it tastes like blueberries?

    June 12, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Heman

    Put him on a dry, dusty carpet, not in the water where he can properly breathe. Great idea.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Terry in Florida

    I vote aquarium. Normally I'm all 'set it free' and animals rights and whatnot, but something this rare to nature should be protected for as long as possible. And let's face it, it is something people would pay to see. Looks like it was made out of gemstones!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. Pascal

    Put it back in the ocean

    June 12, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lynne Sullivan

    There is a Blue Lobster at either the Boston Aquarium in Boston, MA or Mystic Seaport in CT, They should put them together, if they are opposite gender's, perhaps they will breed, since there are only one in 2 million, it would be a super rare opportunity to create more of these gorgeous crustaceans!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. Pinchy

    Pinchy would have loved this.....mmmmm...more butter please...oh pinchy>simpsons

    June 12, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. JD

    put it back in the water

    June 12, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. hemplover

    Let the lobster go. At least take its handcuffs off.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
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