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. svann

    Poor lobster. Nobody wants him because of his color. You people should be ashamed. I thought we were beyond that.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carlos

      @svann That is hilarious.
      Come on people stop being blue bigots and show the lobster some love.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      No wonder he's gotten the blues.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nick

    I think you put it in a pot boil it up and pair it with a nice blue raspberry slurpee and a nice blueberry pie for desert! Hmmmm hmmmm!

    God put lobsters on this planet to eat them

    June 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Omar

      Actually, he didn't. If it doesn't have fins and scales it is biblically unclean (like PORK) and therefore shouldnot be eaten. However, this applies to only those who love and fear God and want to follow His commands.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlin

      He forbade is chosen people, the Israelites, from eating them.

      I think they are here because they serve a role as scavengers and help clean up the ocean floor.

      June 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      God eats lobsters?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Omar

    Donate it to a local seaquarium.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nate

    Toss it back!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cindy

    Please put him/her back in the ocean where it belongs – it's too beautiful to destroy.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ronda in Houston, TX

    No establishment will take it probably because they are worried about it breeding with other lobsters. Imagine, there is not one food that is BLUE (at least naturally). We don't have BLUE FOOD so this lobster is out of the question as a food source.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roosevelts

      uh, blueberries ?

      June 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in San Marcos, TX

      Yeah, no such thing... like BLUEberries are a figment of our imagination? and BLUE potatoes, I guess the farmers sit there and dye each one? or how about BLUE corn, a very popular food staple in Central America. I suppose they paint the ears of corn? Or how about the huitlacoche that grows on regular corn, that's BLUE also. I hope this has inspired you to learn a little more about the world around you, because you are embarrassing us Texans.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ang

      Blueberries are blue... There are also naturally blue potatoes and blue corn chips....

      June 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Piranha

    Poor lobster, nobody wants it, thats why its blue, put him a boiling pot of water and it'll turn red orange, goooood eating. Or tag it and throw it back in the ocean. Give it liberty or give it death.

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

    You have to put it back so it can continue its rare species. Should be automatically under Protection. He probably has the cure for most of Mankinds Diseases in his genetic code....

    June 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluegillonthefly

      It's not a "rare species." It's a one-off in the normal species of lobster. A mutation, if you will. If you'd actually read the article, you'd know that about 1 in every 2 million lobsters is blue. It's progeny also would have a 1 in 2 million shot each of being blue.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlin

      Its a genetic variation. Not a species. Odds are almost all of its offspring over its life will be normal colored

      June 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marla Neusel

    Donate it to the Monterray Bay Aquarium in California! Let the beautiful creature live there for all to see!

    June 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    Only one in two million lobsters have developed the abitlity to hold their breath so long they get permablue, azureternity, anti-havfta smell US. Well, it's not all US. We only make 35% of the worlds stink.
    What next? Blue fetus?

    June 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    @bluegillonthefly (2:45) Nifty username. I'm 1/8 American Indian. Whattaya suppose my odds are? he he 🙂

    June 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alsaidan

    They should breed it in a fish farm! And have blue as a delicacy in the market!

    June 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Normal

    A creature this rare, 1 in 2 million, you would think that there is an aquarium somehere that would love to have it. Doesn't sound like this guy has tried to contact many people. I'm sure the National Aquarium in Baltimore would love to have it.

    June 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. FunkyB


    June 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mermaiden

    That is the coolest lobster I have ever seen! I hope it will go to the Aquarium! I think that would draw a good crowd.

    June 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lizabeth

      It should go back where it came from and maybe make more. Anyone who eats these creatures, regardless how tasty, has a few screws loose. The method they cook them is barbaric. Boiled alive!! Maybe if you eat one Karma will do the same to you.

      June 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      This animal will die in captivity from the stress of being seen all the time, people tapping on the tank etc... Woods Hole Oceanographic had one a few years back and it only lasted about 2 weeks before dying.

      June 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
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