'Fluffy' the blue lobster headed for museum

Andrew Chisholm comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on June 6, 2011
Donnie Doucette of Doiron Fisheries in North Rustico holds a rare blue lobster caught by Blair Doucette last week. Fisheries experts say that only one in about four million lobsters are blue, caused by a gene mutation. They are perfectly normal except for their colour. The last blue lobster was recorded caught on the Island in 2009.
Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

The wife of an Island fisherman was reminded of Elvis Presley’s blue suede shoes when she first set eyes on a lobster caught off the Rustico Beach Wednesday.

“That’s what it reminds me of. It’s just a very brilliant blue,” said Wendy Doucette.

The canner-size crustacean gained international attention since Blair Doucette and his brothers hauled the bright blue lobster out of the water.

They were on the last trap of a six-trap line when they stopped to look at what they’d caught.

A smile formed on Blair’s face when he saw something he’d never seen before.

“I’ve been fishing for 35 years and this is the first one I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It was something to see.”

The lobster has a rare genetic mutation that affects one in two million lobster but is otherwise perfectly healthy and safe to eat.

Fluffy, a name Wendy’s friend from Newfoundland suggested, will stay at Aiden’s Deep Sea Fishing in North Rustico before being moved to the Rustico Harbour Fishing Museum later this month.

Norman Peters looks after the museum and said he is looking forward to having the new guest for families to awe over this summer.

“We have two touch tanks. One with a couple lobsters in it and then the other one I try and get an eel in with little fish for the kids to watch,” said Peters. “I say if they can catch that eel I’ll give them $50 but they couldn’t catch that slimy thing.”

Peters has been fishing lobster for almost 35 years and said he’s seen blue lobster before but nothing quite like this one.

“I’ve seen them before but never so blue,” he said. “It’s a real blue one.”

The last blue lobster caught off Island shores was in 2009.

Fluffy, I guess we’ll call him, will be tanked up with another lobster before eventually being returned to the waters.

Blair doesn’t expect he’ll come across something quite this rare ever again.

“You figure 300 traps a day over 35 years, that’s a lot of traps without seeing a blue lobster,” he said.

Wendy is counting on Wednesday’s rare odds to help out once more this week.

“We made sure we bought lottery tickets for tonight,” she laughed. “If we win he’s done fishing.”