Rare blue lobster will wow National Aquarium visitors
Toby, a blue lobster caught in waters off the coast, is said to be a 1-in-2-million exception to the rust-colored norm.
He has been staying in his own container in Martin’s Fish Co.’s lobster tank since the crew of the Pot Luck fishing boat brought him in with the Thursday catch.
"We like to name all our lobsters," assistant manager Ginger Nappi said Friday while people gathered around the tank, checking out Toby.
Glenn Cooke said the spectacle was “pretty amazing” as he and his wife, Pat Cooke, watched Nappi pick up Toby and another lobster to display that the azure-colored specimen’s underside is also paler than most of his counterparts.
"We’ve been living here a long time, and we’ve never seen anything like that," Pat Cooke said.
However, John Guorley, owner of the Pot Luck, has: Nine years ago, he caught another one. Guorley said he decided to donate Toby to the National Aquarium’s Washington location. Until staffers come to pick him up, Toby will stay in the tank at Martin’s.
"I figured that would be the best thing to (do) with it," he said. "What am I gonna get — seven bucks for the thing, a pound-and-a-half lobster? I’d rather see them take it and, hopefully, they can raise it."
Toby is blue because of a genetic variation that shows up in about one of every 2 million born that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein that gives it that pigmentation, according to the University of Maine Lobster Institute.
In early May, another blue lobster was caught in the waters off Nova Scotia, Canada, according to cnn.com. Even more rare: A yellow lobster, estimated to be a 1-in-30-million anomoly, and the 1-in-100-million albino lobster, the Lobster Institute said.