Every now and then, a lobster pulled from the waters of Maine will be a bit weird looking. Whether it has a strange-looking claw or it is vibrant blue, it happens. This is the first translucent lobster that one lobsterman can remember in his neck of the woods famous for their lobsters, Maine.
Lobsterman Alex Todd knows that a lobster can come up from the deep ocean looking a bit strange once in a while. His lobster traps have captured blue lobsters and even lobsters that were half blue or half orange in the past, but he’s never pulled in a lobster that looks like this. The “ghostly blue” lobster looks transparent, reports the Global News.
If you saw this lobster sitting on your mantle at home perfectly still, you might think it was made out of glass, as the coloring makes it look almost crystal clear. Todd caught this odd crustacean back in August and he knew as soon as his lobster cage was pulled up from the bottom of the ocean that he had something very weird on his hands.
This lobsterman is from Chebeague Island in Maine so he’s in the heart of lobster country. He knew immediately when that lobster came up in his trap sitting next to the lobsters that were the traditional “mottled green and brown” that he had something “definitely weird.”
Decades ago, if anything out of the norm was caught in a lobster trap, it may or may not make national news. It would depend whether newspapers or TV news thought it was bizarre enough to report on. Today with the social media sites, all it takes is one posted picture online and your translucent lobster is seen around the world.
Todd couldn’t keep the lobster. All he could do is take a few pictures of his catch before throwing it back in. The lobster’s tail had been notched, which is a way a lobsterman notes that their catch is an “egg-bearing female.” For reasons of conservation, the lobsters with a notched tail are off-limits.
This is called V-notching a lobster and it is not a new practice, as lobstermen have been concerned with the conservation of lobsters in Maine for a very long time. According to the Press Herald, “If a female lobster is caught while carrying eggs, a V-notch tool or knife is used to remove a very small, triangular portion of the tail flipper.” Then the lobster is returned to the water. “V-notching began in Maine in 1917 and has been mandatory since 2002, but the practice is very difficult to enforce.”
The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association borrowed one of Todd’s images of that lobster and they posted it online to their Facebook account, which is seen above. They suggest that the lobster has a genetic condition called Leucism. With this condition, there’s not a total loss of pigment, like you would see with an albino lobster. In this case, the lobster’s pigment is only partially lost.
According to this fisherman’s association, because of the different genetics, lobsters can be white, yellow, blue or red (before cooking it). These colors are what make up the pigment of a lobster’s shell. With the different genetic mutations, you can get any of these colors alone or a mixture of these colors in a lobster. A lobster without pigment would be white.
[Featured Image by Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock]