Lucky lobsters with rare colouring find forever home at N.B. aquarium
A pair of lobsters with unique colouring will soon be the latest addition to the Fundy Discovery Aquarium’s growing collection.
“Lucky” the lobster was found in the Bay of Fundy last week. The fishermen felt the sea creature, with its white and blue colours, was too rare to go to waste.
Cynthia Callahan, manager of the Fundy Discovery Aquarium in St. Andrews, N.B., suspects Lucky is leucistic - a condition in which there is a partial loss of pigmentation.
"Basically there are three types of pigments that live in a lobster's shell. The primary colours, like red, blue and yellow, and when there is an abnormality, genetically it can cause some of those to not be shown,” says Callahan.
Callahan says a true albino lobster, which has no pigment of any kind, is as rare as one in 100 million. The aquarium doesn't have any on display at the moment, but she hopes that will change one day.
The aquarium also picked up a brand new orange lobster on Friday from a fisherman in Beaver Harbour. The lobster doesn't have a name yet, but Callahan says orange, red and yellow lobsters possibly number one in 30 million.
"I tend to think it’s not in the lobster’s best interest to be an unusual colour, so they really are lucky when they are caught by a fisherman who then takes that extra step of wanting to donate it to a facility like us," says Callahan.
The aquarium has nearly 20 lobsters on display. Almost all of them are specially coloured.
Callahan says blue lobsters are more common, at about one in 2 million.
"It's a good chance to see an animal of an unusual colour and learn about the different colours they come in and what's causing that,” says Callahan.
Callahan says, when cooked, the lobsters still turn the traditional bright red. But thanks to their genetic mutation, the colourful crustaceans get to educate thousands of people every year, and stay out of hot water.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mary Cranston.