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. Leave it alone!

    Please put it back to ocean for sake! It is so special therefore it deserve to be live and free. It so innocent creation. You don't need the money for living? This is so meanest! Leave it alone. Please!

    June 11, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Oh please.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hexx

      Man, y'all PETA nuts askin to release it: Shut the hell up. He caught it, its a marvel of nature, why not let more people see it? He tosses it back in the ocean and scores of people will never get to see its beauty. Thats a better fate than it getting eaten by predators or by other people. Asides from it being a genetic defect, the lobster being such a bright color makes it a prime target for predators you idiots, which is probably another reason why you don't see these lobsters in the wild as often.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nutz

    choot it!

    June 11, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yossarian

      In English, please.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |

    Giving it to Toronto Aquarium will give chances for thousands of people to see this rare lobster.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Lincoln

      ....and one less in the ocean to breed more of them. I say put it back. If this guy has been lobster fishing for 33 years I would HOPE he doesn't need the money.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Just!ne

    My hungry brain read "It probably belongs back in the ocean, but I'd like for as many people as possible to see it." as ""It probably belongs back in the ocean, but I'd like for as many people as possible to eat it."

    June 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • nsboy

      It's worth noting that Mr. Stoddard seems to have only the noblest of intentions, as reported by the CBC 06/11/12:
      "Stoddard's only condition – that the lobster doesn't end up on a dinner plate. He said he'll release the rare crustacean back into the Atlantic before he lets that happen."

      June 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just!ne

      People say and do different things ya know. Money talks, and if this guy is behind on bills, than I'm pretty sure saving the lobster from an impending annihilation would be the least of his worries. It wouldn't be an awesome blue lobster–it's be an awesome blue meal ticket.

      June 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaliKai

      Mee Toooo Just!ne! 🙂 and I really think this little guy needs to be pampered in a nice aquarium for all to see... maybe he was caught for a reason...?

      June 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just!ne

      I totally agree! It would be nice if the little fella was a celebrity. Perhaps its discovery will inspire people to value the beauty of nature more. With the constant destruction of natural habitats, humanity is losing site of the importance of properly housing our animal friends.

      June 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    What color does it turn when put on a hot grill or pot of boiling water?

    June 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fiona

    It's a seabug that happens to be blue. Inside it's the same as any other lobster. It would be nice and showy in a public aquarium...but it's still a bug.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Slotracer

    I wonder if it tastes different.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Free Bluette

    For pity's sake, let the lobster go. Is nothing sacred?

    June 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. G-Man

    Try breeding it to develop more blue lobsters. Maybe take a stab at creating a new genus of lobster. Instead of being a one-in-2-million phenomenon it could become common.

    Hell .... people do it all the time with cats and dogs!

    June 11, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      And then, when predators realize that it's a lot easier to find and eat blue lobsters than grey ones, they will become rare again. How about we just let nature do its thing and not try to force our influence on things because we think something's neat.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • kanga

      excellent Idea,I would be interested in investing and keeping the brand name on blue lobster, It tastes better than regular lobster and of course for a blue lobster dinner for two it starts at $5000.00 the rich would feel privileged. Starting to get the picture?? good luck

      June 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steve Lyons

    Find a research lab that will clone it and make hundreds more. Something this "rare" needs to be studied. And clones offer the best opportunity to study a rarity.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Lincoln

      You folks just don't GET the meaning of rare do you. Nature only makes so many of something for a reason. By the way, for all of you religious zealots out there,notice, I said NATURE, and I meant it.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Klaas Jan

    You could sell it for a lot of money to a hungry rich man.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PrettyLobsterInBlue

    This one is a real beauty! ~ It has to be one of the prettiest lobsters that I have ever seen. If no public aquarium up there in Canada ~ wants to put this lobster on display ~ I'd say that they would all have to be NUTS!!..What an aquatic showpiece ~ and I'm sure that lots of little kiddies would love to see PrettyBlue~ I am from the New England area ~ and I can tell you this much ~ you might want to check into the New England Aquarium, Boston, MA ~ this lobster ~ may definitely spark some interest with them.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. czar33

    I think this is a joke, I think that that someone placed the lobster in a tank and then add old-fasion BLUEING some people still use this today in your final rince in the washer. It makes you whites look whiter!
    See http://www.mrsstewart.com/ Blue and White Make the Whitest White!
    My Grandma showed me how to use this product and it works.
    PS: If you are a lazy "KEPT" women, no need to go to WEB site!
    If you use a lot of this product it will turn things blue, it is a SAFE natural product!

    June 11, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. samuraikatana1

    Your mission is accomplished, this lobster is now immortalized on the internet. Now, please put the poor thing back in the ocean.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SH54

    I personally believe it should be put back into the ocean, but on the same notion, it would do just fine in an aquarium. It would have plenty to eat, it wouldn't have any predators (that I'm aware of....I'm not an expert), and it would be an amazing display for people to see as long as it was in a large enough take where it can move around as much as it would in the ocean.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Herbys

      They should breed it at an aquarium, then release part of the offspring and sell the rest.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
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