Colourful crustaceans turning heads at N.S. grocery store
Two colourful crustaceans – one white and one blue lobster - are turning heads at a grocery store in Nova Scotia.
“We’re the envy of all the seafood departments around,” said Trent MacLean, the seafood manager at Sobeys in Pictou, N.S.
“Everybody’s calling me, asking if they can get one, but we’d absolutely love to have more.”
The odds of catching a white lobster are about one in a hundred million.
“It’s a white male lobster. It’s about a pound, I would say,” explained MacLean of the aptly-named Casper. “It’s a canner for sure, but it’s got a little tint of blue to it, but it’s very pretty.”
Casper was on display at the store for a few days when another fisherman brought in Little Blue. The odds of catching a lobster like Little Blue are about one in two million.
Fortunately for the lobsters, neither is for sale. Rare-coloured lobsters are considered good luck for fishermen, and they attract a lot of attention when they’re on display.
“I’ve never seen a white lobster,” said curious customer Rachelle Scanlon. “My husband fished lobster for a lot of years and I’ve never seen a blue one either, but that’s pretty awesome.”
Gary Nowlan of the Pictou Lobster Hatchery said there are typically three types of pigment in a lobster’s shell: red, blue, and yellow. Whenever there’s an abnormality, it causes unusual colouring.
“When you cook [blue lobsters] they turn red, same as the normal ones,” explained Nowlan. “The white one, it will stay white. I don’t know if anybody’s actually cooked one. I certainly wouldn’t because we always like to let them go again.
Nowlan said genetics might play a role in the growing number of blue lobsters being reported.
“We did have a berried female a couple of years ago that was blue and we hatched her eggs out and about 50 per cent of the eggs produced blue larvae so there’s an inheritance in there somewhere,” he said.
The spring lobster season along the Northumberland Strait ends on June 30.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh