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. Tim Kirk

    It's the same color as some of our fresh water crawfish in Western Washington lakes!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. fake

    suprizing that a lobersterman caught it, makes me think it's fake and he spray painted it.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • simpsonjds06


      June 12, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
    • tjj300

      Who do you think would catch a lobster, an auto mechanic?

      June 12, 2012 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Derrick

    Epic loot 😉

    June 12, 2012 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Mari

      LOL!!! Clearly not enough gamers leaving comments...but Derrick, best comment I've ever come across on CNN. Hands down!

      June 12, 2012 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. WOW

    Name the lobser Clawie Kardashian and it will get it's own TV show! No talent needed.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
    • edward

      Nice. That is very funny.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Patrick

    Protect it let it grow to be the biggest blue lobster ever than eat it with family and friends! The thing will have a better life than most lobsters and truly be enjoyed!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. mouse

    its kijiji not kajiji

    June 12, 2012 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. RCDC

    Alright, here is an idea: Cook it.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. sunny

    return it to the ocean....=)

    June 12, 2012 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. Lynx

    What do you mean you don't know what to do? We've seen the photo now put it back in its home!!!

    June 12, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    I wonder if it would still turn red when cooked.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
    • BigNutz

      We should try.........

      June 12, 2012 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. john

    cross it with a red one and then use the young as a blanket for a horse.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
    • mickain

      clone it, and make millions of them, then release them . Not rare anymore

      June 12, 2012 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. 1man

    Throw it back man !! The sea has been good to you. let people see it n toss it back in. 1 in 2 million ? do the math and it comes out right 3000/day per 200 working days a year times 33 years (don't know how long a lobster season is so guessed 200 working days) 1.98 million thats rare and it's still alive toss it back. Be a good earth citizen !!! Or make some Lobster Thermador it's really good!

    June 12, 2012 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      I did the same calc with the same values (coincidence) and came up with 19.8 million.. that's a lot of lobster.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mike Masessa

    Put it back in the ocean. You've put it on the internet,the whole world has seen it, and it's beautiful. Send it back where it belongs so it can make more Blue Lobsters.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      You're nuts! I want to eat that lobster. I wonder if they can have an auction opening somewhere for someone to be able to bid on who gets to eat it. I want it. *_* I just don't want the bidding to go crazy.. I mean maybe 10,000 is the most I'd consider.

      June 12, 2012 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mary

    Good grief.. .He doesn't know what to do with it.....?
    Donate it to a living sea aquarium~!! It belongs in a place many people can see it..

    June 12, 2012 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      ....belongs in a place where everyone can see it........... ALIVE.

      June 12, 2012 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    ...this counts as news? Really? yikes, cnn...

    June 12, 2012 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mathieu

      A lobster that people catch once in half a century is called news...

      June 12, 2012 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
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