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. NotARealDoctor

    It's a mutant X-Lobster!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. geo_environ

    Let it go...If it's a rare genetic mutation maybe it can pass its beauty on if allowed to be released back into the ocean.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. red lobster

    If you throw him in boiling water he will still turn red..... nice white meat inside!!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Obama Mama

    Perty, Perty blue lobster. @ What are- I know I did not spell Pretty correct. lol

    June 12, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    An aquarium should put it on display!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. AmericanSam

    Super cool lobster. I'm sure he'll let it go.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. flip

    Can't wait for the the day when all the other creatures we share planet earth with start stalking, shooting, and hauling humans for sport and food.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • peanut

      O yeah, because wild animals are so kind to the food they eat.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. george6090

    Evolution, genetic changes in organisms are out there all the time. Explains a lot of things in nature and the differences in species.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. gt4play

    As a student, I worked at the Darling Marine Research Center in coastal Maine – they had a number of these lobsters donated by local lobstermen. Researchers bred them – increasing the likelihood the two parents would produce their own 'baby blues', all to be released to the wild.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. strangways

    put it in an aquarium where it can live out its days without running the risk of being someone's dinner. How many 1 percenters would love to dine on a rare blue lobster?

    June 12, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • max3333444555

      why a 1%er. id eat it!

      June 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan64

    It's a Teenage Mutant Ninja Lobster! Give it a movie contract or for Heaven's sake, let it go.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lars

    Its amazing how these comment boards materialize into these "I'm smarter and more clever than you are" contests. Get over yourself people!

    June 12, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. dredgx

    Put it back in the ocean, wow.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rick

    I bet Pixar is all ready writing a script. Who voices the blue lobster?

    June 12, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • zzzzzz

      Sebastian from "The Little Mermaid"

      June 12, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jim Cameron

    Send him back to Pandora

    June 12, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • David MacGillivray

      My freind is a fishermans helper.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
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