Albino lobsters are not something that even seasoned lobstermen regularly get because these are rare. It is believed that there is only such lobster in a hundred million. Maine fishermen, however, are apparently lucky. Just this week, two albino lobsters were caught off the coast of Maine.
Lobsterman Bret Philbrick caught one of these rare marine crustaceans off Owls Head on Thursday while another lobsterman Joe Bates got one off the Rockland breakwater several days earlier.
Bates said that his rare catch is not just the first albino lobster that he caught. It is also the first of its kind that he has seen. Bates claim isn't surprising because albino lobsters are rare and according to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, the odds of catching one albino lobster is only about one in 100 million.
Alexandra Knight, from the Owls Head Lobster Company, said that white is the rarest of all the lobster's color mutations.
"You see all different shades of blue, yellow. I've seen blue. I think that's the rarest one you can find," Knight said.
The pair of the rare lobsters was brought to the Owls Head Lobster Company. One will be handed to the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor while the other will go to Brooks Trap Mill, a lobstering supply store in Thomaston.
The lobsters are below the legal size, which normally means that they had to be returned to the ocean so they could mature for another one to two years but the Marine Patrol made an exception.
It also appears that Bates, who named his lobster Ronald after former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, struck luck more than once. He also caught another lobster with a rare color. On Monday, his catch included a yellow lobster, which may not be as rare as a white albino but still hard to find as only about one yellow lobster exists for every 30 million.
This year is marked with rare lobster catches. Earlier this year, one lobsterman caught a calico lobster which sported bright orange and dark blue spots in New Hampshire. The lobster is the second rarest of lobsters, according to an Explore the Ocean World Oceanarium spokesperson. A bright yellow lobster, whose origin isn't known, was also bought from a supermarket in Florida.
University of Maine's Lobster Institute executive director Bob Bayer said that some unusual breeding may be happening if more similar-looking lobsters turn up in the area.