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. Dumbpeople

    its a myth that they scream when they are boiled. get your facts streight. and also alot of animals are killed in horrbile ways, are any of you actually vegans, chances are.. your not.. so stop being a hypocrite and get over it, its the circle of life.

    June 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lizabeth

      It is not a myth. Would you scream if thrown into a boiling pot of water? Yes and they do too. Anyone who eats these tasty creatures is a S a v a ge.

      June 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jules

      Oh please, I've cooked plenty of them, that sound is the sound of air escaping the shell. I hate hypocrites. Basically everything you eat requires something to die, whether it's meat or fish you are consuming or vegetables grown on the former habitat of thousands of species. Get over it.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tom

    your right put it back in the Ocean, where you found it. Only then will you be a winner.

    June 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. crystal

    Shoving a knife into their heads does not sound like a better option to me!

    June 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lizabeth

      If given a choice yes I would welcome a quick death with a knife in the head vs being thrown into a pot of boiling water.

      June 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. NeoGraphix

    One of the reasons why the human race will never be a totally superior species is because out of all humans, there wil always be some who lack the intelligence, integrity, compasion, and decent behavior to better themselves and evolve into something better. Some are just destined to just not care about anything and watch the world burn. Any technological advances we create, there will always be someone to abuse it, corrupt it and use it against the rest.

    June 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jesse Venegas

    This is awesome!

    June 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tunahuna

    I got the Blue Lobster blues
    they's no others quite like me
    I'm really really dif'rent
    as y'all can plainly see

    I got the Blue Lobster blues
    oh please please set me free
    Don't put me in a 'quarium
    jus' please let me be me

    June 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. andino

    they should keep that blue lobster!!!is pretty..
    and about put them in boiled water!!com on i understand you point LIZABETH but you will never stop that...its been done for years and years..and they are really good yum yum

    June 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. narjun

    To those saying it should reproduce; as a High-School Biology student, an animal CANNOT pass a trait on to its offspring unless its gametes (reproductive cells) are also mutated, in addition to its regular cells. Judging by the rarity of this creature, it seems like the trait will not be passed on to its offspring. And if it could be passed on, it is a recessive trait that is probably dyhybrid or greater, in its linkage to other cells, meaning it will be unlikely that it will produce another blue lobster as offspring.

    June 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sillycanadian

    They are not boiled. They are steamed. And they do not make any noise, fish do not have vocal cords.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • anthonyc

      Uh, fish?! A lobster isn't a fish. It's a crustacean. Two entirely different species of creatures. And to steam any kind of food would require sitting it ABOVE the boiling water, not in. Boiling requires putting food IN the water. That's why we call hard-boiled eggs, hard-boiled. Not hard-steamed.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mr. Plow

    Now this might sound a bit morbid but I DO wounder if it would turn red when cooked. I would like to see it in an aquarium though.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jimbostud

    Lizabeth surely is a dem

    June 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gezellig

      Well, this lobster is in a blue state....

      June 13, 2012 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. zulux

    That's the proof that lobsters are democrats and pro-choice. It also shows that they don't blame obama for the gas prices and the high employment. Case closed. Next.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tj

    Saw a bright orange one off Big Island Hawaii one night. Looked like it had already been boiled – but way brighter! Put those two together.... wonder what color the offspring would be?

    June 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. stephen

    Did someone say.... butter?

    June 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. robin

    keep it..its beautiful

    June 12, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
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