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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Cure impotence with its powdered shell in Asia.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. mccccccc

    Kajiji.com? Really? Maybe he should have put it on gregslist.com instead? Or how about dbay.com?

    Good job proofreading from the brilliant minds of cmm.com

    June 12, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nephropivore

    Eat it. Boil it first, then eat it. With fresh drawn butter.

    No self-respecting lobster will mate with a bluey. The other lobsters probably call it vile names anyway. You'd be doing it a favor.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. Blah

    What of it? It's a lobster that's what he does for a living. It's just a rare occasion and I think he should display it. You would be excited too if you were in their shoes. Having a specimen people rarely see, it really makes you wonder what else is in the ocean that is still to be seen!

    June 12, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanirty"

    I ought to get an alligator, and buy some bright pink spray paint.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • ray

      well, the "rare" alligator color is albino, not pink, so you need white pain; mother nature already beat you to it.

      June 12, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. mike

    Holy crap that thing looks tasty.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • chet

      it probably tastes like a lobster crossed with a blueberry

      June 12, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. Juan Villar

    I would say you should breed more of them. Mate it with a standard lobster and then inbreed the progeny until a purebred blue line is generated. The New England Aquarium in Boston should know how to do that.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. Really Jersey

    Such a brilliant blue is extremely beautiful, but often coloration like that is a handicap in the wild. That makes the lobster stand out somewhat rather than being camouflaged. It will probably have a much longer life in an aquarium if it is a male. This rare crustacean could educate thousands of people, encouraging them to respect & preserve the ocean. However; if this lobster is a female the future eggs she could contribute to her species makes it much more important to return her to the ocean.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. chet

    Oh beautiful blue lobster you belong in my belly. I wonder if it tastes different, theres only one way to find out, all scientific like

    June 12, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. Scamtannehill

    Don't step on my blue swede claws.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanirty"

    It'd be your luck it's poisonous.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Harry

    Blue lobster gumbo sounds mighty tasty right now!

    June 12, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Queen of The OCEAN

    I dive to various environments and places.
    I shall seek some input from someone to check this article.
    Whatever that lobster man does would be on his own accord and conscience.
    It's just the sad state of the ocean world in this century.
    A fact of reality that most humans care to accept and help repair no matter their intentions, They/we treat the oceans like a refuse.

    We may be at the top of the food chain, but it doesn't mean we are not rubbish.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanirty"

    Just think...if I had blue skin, I could run for President, and play the race card. The first alien without a berth certificate.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Coflyboy

      ...or the ability to spell.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Coyote

      Way to make it political...

      June 12, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Only in America, you will find such ignorance and stupidity as this comment left here.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    Maybe it's just feeling sad.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
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