Jun 14, 2007
NEW LONDON, Conn. — Call it crustacean discrimination.
A lobster caught last weekend by Steve Hatch and his uncle Robert Green was spared from being cooked and ripped apart on a plate because of its color.
The 1 1/2 -pound clawed creature is bright blue, the result of an extremely rare genetic mutation.
It turned up Sunday morning in one of Hatch and Green's lobster traps at the mouth of the Thames River.
"I've heard about them but this is the first one I've ever seen," Hatch told The Day of New London newspaper.
Later that afternoon, he put the lobster in a cooler and brought it to the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, where it will live out its days in an elementary school classroom for children to learn about.
Catherine Ellis, curator of fish and invertebrates at the aquarium, said only one in 3 million lobsters are "true blue," meaning their color is the result of genetics and not the environment.
The one caught Sunday will join two other blue lobsters at the aquarium.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that the blue coloring occurs when lobsters produce an excessive amount of protein because of a genetic mutation.
But if blue lobsters are cooked like their red brethren, they too turn red, Ellis said.