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. frank

    take pictures and release it.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sciguy

    probably caught in maine eh? streaming to maine and back makes a looong day trip to get to worse lobster grounds!

    June 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • ironwolf56

      Well they go for the best. Ever wonder why it's always advertised as Maine lobster but you never see Canadian lobster as a bragging point? Canadian lobster is mushy and bland.

      June 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. paratrooper1

    What would a good name for a pet lobster be? In honor of those that would set him free, I'll start of with

    Willy

    June 11, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sam Gonzales

    The best home for that beautiful blue Lob. will be at the Aquarium in Toronto. If you release it back to the sea, it will just be eaten by big fish or other predators. Blue needs proper care. What is the life span of captive lobsters?.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • paratrooper1

      "Recent research suggests that lobsters may not slow down, weaken, or lose fertility with age. In fact, older lobsters are more fertile than younger lobsters. This longevity may be due to telomerase, an enzyme that repairs DNA sequences of the form "TTAGGG."[9] This sequence, repeated hundreds of times, occurs at the ends of chromosomes, which are referred to as the telomeres.[10][11] It has been argued that lobsters may exhibit negligible senescence and some scientists have claimed that they could effectively live indefinitely, barring injury, disease, capture, etc.[12] Their longevity allows them to reach impressive sizes. According to the Guinness World Records, the largest lobster was caught in Nova Scotia, Canada, and weighed 20.15 kilograms (44.4 lb)."

      June 11, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. curt

    trippy mang

    June 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. curt

    Trippy mane

    June 11, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jesse

    i guarantee some rich person would buy that! hell, if i was rich i'd def want it in my tank! def don't kill it!! actually don't kill any animals!!! but i'm such a damn hypocrite, i hate vegetables and all i eat are animals. i'm going to hell 😦

    June 11, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mork

    Zoidbergs dream

    June 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    Somethings not kosher.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JT

    I'm not exactly Mr. animal rights but I think he's right; it would be better to see this in an aquarium than in someone's lobster pot. This is an odd thing to say about a lobster but it is kinda' pretty.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. vjpgh

    Put it back in the ocean................

    June 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. matilda

    Has the guy asked the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA if it would be interested in this lobster? The MBA provides free field trips to students from around the state and might see the lobster as a unique educational lesson.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gman

    I say clone it and start a new restaurant chain Blue Lobster

    June 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TriXen

    Very pretty!

    June 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sergio from Toronto

    Hey, this is an amazing sentiment, I could easily pay thousands of dollars for it, nevertheless, if not for sale, the Toronto aquarium that is being built at this moment would be a great place for it. Much better than my place of business:))

    June 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
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