Once in a blue lobster: rare blue crustacean caught in N.S.
Graham Slaughter, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, May 23, 2016 10:29AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 25, 2016 11:22AM EDT
A pair of fishermen have beaten odds of oceanic proportions after both claimed to have caught an extremely rare blue lobster off the coast of Nova Scotia over the long weekend.
Fisherman Blaine Marsh nabbed a brightly coloured crustacean, which was given the name "Blueberry" by his granddaughter, on Friday near the Cape Breton fishing community of Alder Point. It was released Sunday.
"It's a good luck sign for the fisherman," Marsh's mother, Mary Marsh, told CTV Atlantic. “I hope the fishermen have a good season this lobster season.”
On Monday, fisherman Scott MacKinnon also pulled a blue lobster, this time from Low Point, N.S. which he says is about 15 nautical miles from Alder Point.
Because of the distance between the two catches, MacKinnon told CTVNews.ca he believes they’re two different lobsters.
Andrea Marsh, however, who was on Blaine Marsh’s boat at the time the lobster was caught, told CTVNews.ca she believes MacKinnon caught the same crustacean that was released a day earlier on Sunday.
“It’s the same lobster,” she told CTVNews.ca, adding the distance between the two points isn't as large as MacKinnon is claiming it to be.
When reached by phone, MacKinnon held to his opinion that he caught a different lobster.
“You’re dealing with two different stories, I guess,” he told CTVNews.ca.
The odds of catching a blue lobster are pegged at about one in two million. The lobster's bright blue colour is attributed to a genetic mutation that causes the crustacean to produce higher levels of a certain protein.
MacKinnon says he plans to keep his lobster, now named Opal, in a tank in North Sydney before releasing it at the end of the lobster season on July 14.
“The old people say it’s good luck and prosperity for the boat,” he explained. “No chance on eating it, no. We’re going to send the good luck back to the ocean.”
In the spring of 2013, another blue lobster was caught off the coast Donkin, N.S. That same season, a more elusive white albino lobster was also caught by a Nova Scotian fisherman. The odds of nabbing a white lobster sit at around one in 100 million.
Those two lobsters were both sent to a Toronto aquarium.
With a report from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald