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. April

    Put him back in the ocean where he belongs!

    June 12, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • THX1953

      He belongs on my plate!
      Right next to the Corn.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Spooge

      Thanks, now my eyes are going to be rolling all day...

      June 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. flimflam

    The remaining question: where"d he put the can of blue spay paint?

    June 12, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. SPENT

    A non-vegetarians delight. Blue Moon and keep it shining on all of us Maine.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sunio

    Lobster wears denim

    June 12, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    He probably took a bite of Osama's brain! The ocean is very contaminated with terror cells! Ha!

    June 12, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Michigander5

    i wonder if they will do an article about being able to buy cobalt blue lobsters from pet stores.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. r2g

    Lobster just wanted to join the blue man group. Nothing to see here.

    June 12, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Glenn

    What a beautiful animal . Anyone know what causes the blue coloration ?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Yes, it's in the article.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MarkyGA

    Does Red Lobster have to change their name now?

    June 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Martian

    Awesome! He should put it back in the ocean!

    June 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Carrie

    Release it back into the ocean and let it live it's life.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TheThinker1958

    FREE THE LOBSTER !!! When they catch a super big one once in a while, it should be returned immediately. They earn it.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. wildone

    Am I blue
    Am I blue
    Ain't these tears in my eyes tellin' you
    Am I blue
    You would be too
    If your plans with your man
    Done fell through
    There was a time
    I was the only one
    And now I'm the sad and lonely one, lonely, lonely
    Was I gay, until today
    Now he's gone and we're through
    Am I blue

    June 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • wildone

      Sorry for not using quotation marks and naming the source of the song. Lyrics by Harry Akst & Grant Clark 1929

      June 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. draxta

    Here comes a stingray (ooh wok ooh wok)
    There goes a manta ray (ah ah ah)
    In walked a jellyfish (huah)
    There goes a dogfish (rea-owr)
    Chased by a catfish (geh geh geh geh geh geh geh geh geh geh)
    In flew a sea robin (Laaaaa)
    Watch out for that piranha (eh rek eh rek ah hoo)
    There goes a narwhal (eeeeh)
    Here comes a bikini whale! (Aaaaah!)

    June 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah Right

      June 12, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • the marsh

      no comment will be better than this one; well played

      June 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      We were at a party
      His ear lobe fell in the deep
      Someone reached in and grabbed it
      It was a rock lobster
      We were at the beach
      Everybody had matching towel

      June 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. I would

    Brag about it in Ogrimar General Chat

    June 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Banto

      You mean Barren Chat?

      June 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Banto

      For the horde!!!!

      June 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Hope's Ghost

      no! then people will just beg for a nerf on the drop rate.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
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