For the second time in ’07, an extremely rare blue lobster is caught off the coast of Hingham
Jack Daily has seen a lot of lobsters during his 30 years in the seafood restaurant business, but none like the ‘‘sky blue’’ one a fisherman brought in the other day.
‘‘I have never seen one this blue,’’ Daily said. ‘‘ It’s very, very rare,’’ said Daily, 64, owner of the Hingham Lobster Pound. It’s one in two million, to be exact. That’s how often you can expect to see a lobster with blue pigmentation.
Edward Figueiredo of Cohasset caught the crustacean Saturday in one of his traps off the coast of Hingham.
‘‘When it’s in the water, it doesn’t look as blue, but when it comes out, it’s like a translucent blue,’’ Daily said.
He planned to call the New England Aquarium in Boston today to see if it’s interested in the lobster, which weighs about a pound and a quarter. If not, Daily said he just might put it on display for his customers.
The aquarium already has a blue lobster but it might be interested in adopting the one Figueiredo caught too, spokesman Tony LaCasse of Randolph said.
Dr. Michael Tlusty, director of research at New England Aquarium, said the blue color comes from a single carotenoid pigment, astaxanthin. The pigment is normally red, but a genetic defect causes an extra amount of protein to be produced and that, in turn, causes the blue color.
The lobster Figueiredo caught, which is probably about 7 years old, will turn red if it is boiled, Tlusty said.
Another local lobsterman, Peter Dawson, caught a blue lobster off the coast of Hingham in January. That one-pound crustacean, dubbed ‘‘Baby Blue,’’ was later donated to the aquarium by the owner’s of Sam’s Seafood in Hingham.
Dennis Tatz of The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass.) may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.