Nova ScotiaNova Scotia news
Updated: Mon, 01 Jul 2013 15:21:54 GMT | By CBC News,

Bright orange lobsters surprise fish market

Bright orange lobsters surprise fish market

Catching an orange lobster is supposed to be a one-in-ten-million rarity, but a Bedford, N.S., fish market might prompt a re-evaluation of those odds. It's currently home to 35 colourful crustaceans.

Chris Field, the manager at the Fisherman’s Market, said he's never seen anything like it. “Today we've got 35 new additions to our pet tank. These are all orange lobsters that came from Cape Breton. The odds of that are pretty, pretty remote.”

The orange has baffled many customers.

“They think they're cooked. So we tell them they survived the boil and some people believe me,” he joked.

Bright blue lobsters, too

Live lobsters are usually olive green or greenish brown. They turn red when boiled. Last month, Nova Scotia fishermen caught a bright blue lobster – the odds of that were pegged at one in two million.

Finding 35 orange lobsters is even less likely. The orange lobsters have a genetic defect — a lack of a colour pigment — leaving their shells as vibrant as a piece of fruit.

Some speculated they were making a patriotic effort to turn red for Canada Day.

Experts say when they moult, their new shells could grow back in the normal colour.

Customer Angela Pelley wondered if their flavour would be as unique as their colour. “They remind me of the crabs in the Caribbean. When they're very young, they're the same colour, and they're so delicious!” she said.

But the orange gang isn't going to end up on anyone's plate — they're not for sale. Some might be donated for research, while the rest will spend their days in the pet tank at the store.

An orange lobster caught in the Bay of Fundy was also spared death, as was a blue one in Newfoundland, suggesting unusual colouration might be a viable evolutionary strategy for lobsters.

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