Lloyd Green is now looking to find Blondie a home so she'll avoid the dinner plate
When a lobster is 17 pounds and named by kids, it gets the name Larry, but when it's a one in 100 million albino lobster it gets the appropriate name of Blondie.
This rare crustacean was caught by fisherman Lloyd Green on Quebec's Lower North Shore a few weeks ago and now he along with the town's mayor are trying to find it a home.
"I'd like to see the lobster, and I think the fisherman would too, in an aquarium somewhere where people could look at it and see that there is such a thing as white lobster," said Randy Jones, mayor of Gros-Mecatina. "It's a bit of promotion for the Quebec Lower North Shore, also."
Blondie is currently being kept in a place where lobsters stay before they are sold and Green has been feeding her herring to help her gain weight.
According to the website Albino Lobster, Blondie and others are white because of an absence of melanina, or the lack of color pigment in the skin.
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This isn't the first time a fisherman has gone looking for a home for a lobster. In June, a fisherman in Nova Scotia posted an electric-blue lobster on Kijiji. Bobby Stoddard, who caught the animal, offered it to the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, but was turned down. He posted it sort of as a joke, but on the condition that it didn't end up on a dinner plate.
While reports of different coloured lobsters used to be rare, they have jumped considerably in the past few years. In addition to white and blue lobsters, fishermen are hauling in ones that are orange, yellow, calico and even two different colours.
Michael Tlusty, research director at the New England Aquarium in Boston, told CBC he didn't know exactly what was causing the increase, but suggested the rise of cellphone cameras and social media make it easier to share the rare tales.
It also may be a result of the overall harvest increasing. In Maine alone, four times as many lobsters are caught now as compared to 20 years ago, meaning the number of rare lobsters caught should increase by the same.
"Are we seeing more because the Twitter sphere is active and people get excited about colorful lobsters?" Tlusty said to CBC. "Is it because we're actually seeing an upswing in them? Is it just that we're catching more lobsters so we have the opportunity to see more...Right now you can make a lot of explanations, but the actual data to find them out just isn't there."
The odds of catching the different coloured lobsters are all extremely low, but the rarest lobster of them all is the one Green caught in Quebec. A lobsterman is 50 times more likely to catch a blue one that the albino lobster.
Green said he loves to eat lobster, but wants this one to survive. He and Jones have tried without luck to contact the Biodome in Montreal and are waiting on a decision from the Quebec City aquarium to see if they will take Blondie. Green will require a permit from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans if he is going to keep Blondie past Aug. 15.
According to Albino Lobster all of the ones caught have been donated to museums.
With files from CBC
(CBC photo by Randy Jones)