A 1-in-2 million chance catch: Irish fisherman nets rare blue lobster
DUBLIN - It is the catch of a lifetime for Irish fisherman Stuart Brown when a rare blue lobster landed in his trap. The chance of netting one is a one in two million.
Most lobsters are dark brown, but they can also come in other shades such as orange, red and yellow.
So when Mr Brown found the blue lobster among his catch in early February, the 28-year-old from Bangor, County Down in Belfast Lough, was pleasantly surprised.
The lobster, which was a vibrant blue from its claws to its tail, was caught in a pot that had been in the water close to Blackhead Lighthouse.
“I sort of saw it, but I thought, ‘it’s just a lobster’. You could hear the tail going. I slid the pot down to the crew man who lifted it out, and he made a comment, ‘That’s very blue’,” said Mr Brown in an article in The Irish Times.
After taking pictures of the lobster, Mr Brown released it as it was just below the allowable size to keep.
“It’s still out in the lough somewhere, swimming about as happy as can be. Hopefully if someone else does catch it, they’ll return it as well,” he said.
Mr Brown, who started fishing since 11 years old, is a shareholder in a County Down seafood wholesale business.
“You would get lobsters out there that don’t look normal, they’d be a bit browner or redder... but nothing that extreme,” he said.
“I looked up Google to see how rare it was, and it was one-in-two million chance of catching it.”
The BBC said blue lobsters are believed to be so rare that some marine biologists estimated the chance of catching one is about one in two million.
Scientists said the unusual colour is due to abnormal genetics, which cause some lobsters to produce more of a certain protein than others.
“I’ve never seen one. Other fishermen I’ve spoken to, who are a lot older than me, they said the same, that they haven’t seen any ever,” said Mr Brown.
“So it’s a surprise to everybody,” he added.