Two fishermen were overwhelmed after they caught not one but two albino lobsters off the coast of Maine just in this week – despite the rare crustacean is considered one in 100 million.
Albino lobsters are a very rare sight and lobstermen regularly not come across it.
The lobsters were caught on two separate expeditions near Owls Head and the Rockland breakwater this week.
Though the lobsters are below the legal size, one of the colorless crustaceans has been planned to keep in the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor, while the other will go to Brooks Trap Mill in Thomaston, Maine.
The Albino lobsters are translucent in look as compared with the more usual green and brown lobsters which are more common.
Bob Bayer, executive director of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute said he’s only seen a couple of albino lobsters in his lifetime.
‘I don’t think they’re albinos. It looks like there’s some pigmentation there. Still, whatever they are is highly unusual, it’s nothing I’ve seen before.’
Lobster shells are usually combination of the three primary colors — red, yellow and blue. Those colors mix to form the greenish-brown of most lobsters, but when there is an absence of one of the colors, the other shades express themselves differently, Elaine Jones, director of the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor and education director for the Maine Department of Marine Resources said.
Debating on the reliability of the lobsters being a real Albino or not a true test of their colour has been suggested. If the white lobsters are provided with food high in carotenoids, like crab and periwinkles and that will result in darkening of the shell, then they’re not albino.
And if they are cooked, true albinos would stay white, say experts.
Blue lobsters are found in about one in million ratio. The odds of catching live red lobsters are estimated to be one in 10 million, and the odds of finding a yellow lobster or a calico-spotted lobster are one in 30 million. . Bi-colored lobsters, are more rare with the odds being one in 50 million. They have a shell that is half orange and half brown.
This year is marked with rare lobster catches. Earlier this year, one lobsterman caught a calico lobster which sported bright orange and dark blue spots in New Hampshire. Bates also caught a yellow lobster on Monday.
Bayer said that some unusual breeding may be happening if more similar-looking lobsters turn up in the area.