There is good news for Rocky the lobster. The 27-pound lobster was released back into the wild off Boothbay Harbor, Maine on February 27, 2012, just a few days after being captured in a shrimp fishermen’s net.
The lobster measured more than 40 inches long and was so big he actually jammed up the escape grates in the shrimp nets which are designed to let lobster go free. The lobster was caught by Robert Malone off the coast of Maine, near Rockland, about five miles out to sea. Surprised by the lobster’s size, Malone had a Marine Patrol warden take the lobster to the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay. Malone hails from Cushing, Maine,
The aquarium folks thought the crusher claw was probably big enough to really pack a punch so they named the lobster “Rocky.” According to Elaine Jones, education director for the state’s Department of Marine Resources, Rocky could break a person’s arm.
Maine fishermen aren’t allowed to keep lobsters that are more than five inches from eye stalk to tail. But even so, Rocky was never in any danger of becoming the guest of honor in a lobster pot – how would you even cook something so large?
Instead Rocky became an instant celebrity. After posing for news photos and the television cameras, it was decided that Rocky should be retuned to the wild. Even the aquarium was not set up to meet the needs of such a large lobster. And so he was released. Everyone expects he will make his way right back out to the deep ocean waters where he will continue to breed.
Rocky was not the largest lobster ever caught. There is a 1977 record of a 44.5 pound lobster caught in Nova Scotia. Still the 27 pound beast was impressive.
Aquarium officials said that large lobsters like Rocky are considered brood stock. It is unusual for them to be in shallow waters close to shore. They favor the deep ocean. Officials know there is a population of giant lobsters out there on the bottom of the ocean. And they expect that soon Rocky will be back with the others.
© Wayne Howe 2012