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. freedomringingnow

    Release the odd one idiot!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. heywood jahbloughme

    not sure what to do with it? hmm.. how about RELEASE IT.. before it died..

    June 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. juniorbarnes

    A blue lobster, eh? Take off hooser!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Shuffler

    Beautiful specimen

    June 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rebecca


    June 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Teresa

    Please put him back in the ocean. He's too rare to eat and he might not taste good! That would be an aweful shame. My sister has several blue shrimp that are about as big as lobsters. It's crazy what Mother Nature can do.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Daniel

    Let it go.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tb2000

    stuff it and put in in a museum!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thicnredscorpio

    I scream from comin when dunc eats my poosay

    June 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. msg44

    Sounds Tasty:)

    June 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mimi

    Put it back it's one of Gods many unique creatures.Don't even think about cooking it to see what color it might turn to "purple" then put it on e-bay.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • max3333444555

      read your bible again. god says eat those animals.

      June 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. natureluver

    put yourself in the lobster's shoes. maybe then your brain can make a decision. if not sooner or later your karma will get the best of you or your loved ones.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tijah

    Sell it to an aquarium!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J

    Sell it or eat it. The next guy to catch it will.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DEE-LISH

    Eat it with some clarified butter and some lemon. Mmmm...Mmmm.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
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