Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Giant Lobster Is Caught in Bermuda. How Common Is That?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Giant Lobster Is Caught in Bermuda. How Common Is That?

Article excerpt

Hurricane Nicole brought a gigantic surprise for two fishermen as it swept through Bermuda: A 14-pound lobster with two-feet long claws.

The fishermen believe it is one of the largest lobsters ever caught in the area, The Washington Post reports.

"We were fishing for snapper the day after hurricane Nicole struck and we hooked this massive lobster instead," Matthew Jones said Monday, after posting pictures of the giant lobster catch on Facebook. Captain Jones, who was fishing with Tristan Loescher from a dock, said he tried to call a marine biologist and local fishing experts, but no one responded.

"I tried a few other people before deciding the best thing we could do was get it back in the ocean before it got too weak," he said.

Finding such a big catch is not unusual. For example, a 27-pound lobster was caught off the Maine coast in 2012; a diver found a 12- pound lobster off San Diego in 2006; and a Canadian crew caught a 20- pound lobster in 2008. Big lobsters simply mean they have been swimming in the deep a long time, The Christian Science Monitor reported in 2011:

These clawed colossi aren't freaks or flukes, explains Jelle Atema, a professor of biology at Boston University. They're just very old.

Lobsters, he says, seem to never stop growing. Their crustacean cousins, crabs, reach a point at which the carapace (the outer shell) simply will not grow any larger. But nature never hemmed in lobsters.

"They keep on growing," says Dr. Atema. "You can end up with very, very large lobsters."

Because of restrictions on the type of lobsters that can be caught legally, the animals have been spared the fate of overharvesting.

But for those fisherman who still dream of netting a giant lobster, there might be an upcoming hurdle to that dream: global warming.

A study published in September found that baby lobsters may not be able to survive if the ocean continues to warm at its expected rate. …

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