Meet Charlie, the blue lobster

Brodie Thomas
Published on June 17, 2013
Port aux Basques fisher Melvin Bateman caught this rare blue lobster in the waters off Grand Bay on June 1. It is now on display at Colemans-at-the-Gardens in Corner Brook, and will eventually be donated to the Bonne Bay Marine Station.
Joe Battiste

Roses are red. This lobster is blue.
He’d likely taste sweet, but he’s bound for the zoo.

Actually, he’s bound for the aquarium at the Bonne Bay Marine Station in Norris Point. But his journey started on June 1 just off Port aux Basques, in one of Melvin Bateman’s lobster traps.

It wasn’t the first blue lobster Bateman ever caught. But he said it was the bluest.

The Port aux Basques fisher said he has caught at least a couple of the strange animals before. He’s also had yellowish ones.

While it looks fairly large in the photo, Bateman said the crustacean was only about two pounds.

He said past blue ones he caught were much darker, while this one was a bright sky-blue.

A University of Maine study suggests only one in two million lobsters will have the mutation causing a blue shell.

Despite its rarity, Bateman said he didn’t give much thought to trying to sell the lobster at a premium.

“We’re practically giving them away as it is,” he joked, noting the current price for lobster is around $3.25 per pound.

He sold it with the rest of his catch that day to Codroy Seafoods.

The blue lobster has now made its way to Coleman’s Grocery in Corner Book.

Colemans’ seafood manager Danny Thomas said the lobster, which he has named Charlie, is drawing quite the crowd at the Colemans-at-the-Gardens location.

“It’s the first one we’ve had in the store,” said Thomas. “Not a lot of people have seen one before.”

Charlie is in the tank with all the other lobsters. Thomas figures he can live for at least a month in the store’s tank.

His unusual colour has not made him the target of any bullying by the other lobsters, according to Thomas.

“He gets along perfect,” he said. “He fits right in.”

Colemans did not pay a premium for the rare creature. He was purchased at market price from Codroy Seafoods, but he won’t be sold again.

“You can’t sell him,” said Thomas. “It would be a sin to sell him and cook him.”

After a few weeks, Colemans will be donating Charlie to Memorial University’s Bonne Bay Marine Centre in Norris Point. Thomas hopes Charlie can live a long and happy life in the saltwater aquarium.