Lobster Destined for the Pot Gets Another Shot
August 18, 2011
Once destined for a toasted buttered roll or blue plate special, an 18-pound American lobster has found a safe home at the aquarium. After surviving more than 70 years in the sea, the lobster found himself trapped in a fisher’s net off the coast of Canada a few weeks ago. He then traveled to San Francisco via air freight, sharing a container with close to two tons of his fellow crustaceans.
Luckily for this lobster, a local seafood distributor in California decided the 18-pound behemoth deserved an audience. But finding a home for such a huge lobster isn’t easy.
Calls were made to area aquariums. When one facility posted an ad on the International Forum of Professional Aquarists, the New York Aquarium took notice.
“When we saw that ad for an 18-pound American lobster, we knew we had to have it,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium.”
The lobster is the largest of its kind ever to live at the aquarium. “He’s a magnificent creature that has been delighting our guests since his arrival,” added Dohlin.
The giant crustacean has taken up residence in Sea Cliffs. His neighbors include walruses, sea lions, and hundreds of fish. He eats about three-quarters of a pound of shrimp and fish each day.
Lobsters live an exceptionally long time. The general formula to estimate a lobsters age is to quadruple its weight in pounds, and add three. This one is an astonishing 75 years old and is still growing.
According to the Guinness World Records organization, the largest recorded lobster weighed in at 44 pounds, 6 ounces—making it more than 180 years old. That lobster was caught in 1977 off the coast of Nova Scotia.
The American, or Maine, lobster is found along the Atlantic Coast, principally from Canada to New Jersey, though the species is most abundant in the Gulf of Maine. To help manage lobster populations, regulations and restrictions determine how they are caught. The goal is to achieve sustainable populations throughout the East Coast.