Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster: 'Would Be a Shame to Put It in a Pot'

A fisherman has a caught a rare, bright blue lobster off the east coast of Scotland.

Ricky Greenhowe, 47, caught the striking crustacean in waters near the city of Aberdeen on Thursday morning.

Greenhowe was on his fishing boat, Skua, when he spotted the unusual lobster in a creel—a type of cage used to catch crustaceans—and reeled it to the surface.

The 47-year-old has been fishing in the waters off Aberdeen since he was a teenager.

"I spotted it straight away and put him in a box on his own," Greenhowe told BBC Scotland. "I have never seen one before, and I have been fishing since I was 14."

The fisherman said he would offer the lobster to a local aquarium. If the animal does not find a new home, he will return it to the ocean, he added.

"It's so rare, it would be a shame to put it in a pot," Greenhowe said.

It has been estimated that the chances of catching a bright blue lobster are around one in 2 million. But Robert Bayer, a professor of animal and veterinary sciences at the University of Maine, has previously told the BBC that this figure is merely a "guess."

"The chances of this happening nobody really knows," he said in a 2016 interview.

The blue lobster that Greenhowe caught in Scotland weighed around 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms). The fisherman said a normal-colored lobster of this size would fetch around £25 ($35.)

"It's not about the money—it should continue its life," he added.

European lobsters tend to be very dark or dull blue in color, with some looking almost black. When cooked, the crustaceans turn the familiar orange-red "lobster" color.

Lobsters that are caught off the Atlantic coast of North America tend to be a murky, greeny-brown.

Sometimes even American lobsters can appear bright blue in color, however. The color of bright blue lobsters is the result of a genetic defect that causes their body to make too much of a certain protein, according to National Geographic.

In August this year, two American fisherman caught a blue lobster off the coast of Portland in Maine, CBS 13 reported. Captain George Stover and Sternman Joseph Parker of the boat Karen Marie caught the lobster on August 18, before eventually releasing it back into the ocean.

"Whatever the odds of catching different-colored lobsters, there's no denying that bright blue ones are truly beautiful creatures," Bayer told the BBC.

A blue lobster
Stock image of a bright blue lobster in an aquarium. A Scottish fisherman caught a blue lobster in the waters off Aberdeen on Thursday. iStock