The value of a blue lobster comes from its rarity, and a single two-pound blue lobster has been valued for as high as $500 USD on some occasions.
The blue lobster is simply a lobster that is blue when captured, as opposed to the brown and grainy green that is most often seen in lobsters caught for commercial use.
It has been said that the blue lobster is caught at a rate of one in two million, however, their capture can be more frequent in certain regions.
There are other lobsters that are rarer than the blue lobster, such as the yellow lobster and albino lobster. Learn more about the value of a blue lobster here.
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Blue lobsters are blue due to a genetic defect in a protein marker that turns their coloring from brown or green to blue.
The genetic defect is not caused by anything specific, such as oceanic turbulences or toxicities, simply an abundance of that specific protein.
These lobsters are most commonly found in Europe in countries like Portugal and Spain and off the Atlantic coast in North America in both Canada and the United States. However, they can be found all over the world such as in Australia and in some freshwater locations.
The blue in blue lobsters is typically an iridescent blue and can almost be aquamarine, but the shade of blue will vary from specimen to specimen.
Some blue lobsters are a very light blue, while others are closer to turquoise. This is a rare color of a lobster, but not the rarest color of a lobster.
It is very difficult to put in numbers how rare blue lobsters are. One number quotes that blue lobsters can be as rare as one in two million.
Still, some fishermen have reported catching one or two on the same day, and even in sequence.
This suggests that the blue lobster might be less rare than one in two million catches. Most experts say that in North America at least, the rarity of blue lobsters is difficult to quantify.
In Europe, the story is much different, where the catching of blue lobsters is a rather normal occurrence, albeit not as common as the catch of brown or green ones.
The genetic mutation caused by the increase of protein that results in blue lobsters has resulted in the blue lobster being named its own species.
The blue lobster is called Homarus gammarus in Europe, whereas the dark brown lobster is called Homarus americanus.
The characteristics of blue lobsters are not much different than the characteristics of Homarus americanus, and each species can live for up to 50 years.
Some fishermen have said they might be more aggressive when caught than regular lobsters. This may be an evolutionary trait, developed over the centuries due to their coloring.
The bright blue coloring of blue lobsters will make them more easily spotted by prey than other kinds of lobsters.
Blue lobsters and brown lobsters have very similar characteristics in appearance and traits overall. They will have 10 limbs and claws that they use for hunting and feeding.
They do not have good vision, but their senses of taste and smell are superior to many other ocean creatures.
Blue lobsters turn the same color as Homarus americanus when cooked and come out red when boiled or steamed. In fact, any lobster, regardless of its original color, will come out red when cooked.
This is due to the kind of protein in the shell of the lobster.
When the proteins in the shell of the lobster skeleton are exposed to heat, they are destroyed, and the resulting color is lobster red.
To cook properly, lobsters need to be boiled or steamed for at least seven to 12 minutes. When eaten, the meat of a blue lobster is white and looks identical to the meat of a brown lobster.
Blue lobsters are an interesting conversation piece because they are much less common than brown lobsters. However, they are not the rarest kind of lobster.
Yellow lobsters and white lobsters, also known as albino lobsters, are two kinds of lobster that are rarer than any other kind of lobster.
Some experts have quoted blue lobsters as rare as one in two million. However, experts in Europe that see them a lot say they could be as common as one per three thousand catches.
The average fisherman in most regions is permitted or licensed to set as many as 300 lobster traps per boat. Each trap will capture between 10 and 12 lobsters.
In Europe then, one boat might see a few blue lobsters come in with every catch.
Today, lobsters are so expensive because of the costs associated with capturing them. Also, they are seasonal foods in a society where so many other food choices are always available.
Additionally, high demand for them in an industry that is limited in catches makes them more valuable to purchase commercially.
This hasn’t always been the case. In the Victorian era, lobsters were more a mainstay for food than beef would be today.
Cows were used for other purposes, largely for the production of dairy which was more necessary for survival than a steak or a hamburger meal.
Lobster and other foods from fisheries were an easy meal choice. It even was once considered peasant food, and so common that lobster would be used to fertilize crops.
There was a time in the United States when it would have been considered cruel to serve lobsters to an American prisoner, which has happened.
The state of Maine prohibited serving lobster to inmates any more than twice a week.
Whether that law exists in Maine today still is unknown. However, it would be cost-prohibitive to serve lobster in correctional facilities today due to the rise in the value of every kind of lobster.
The actual value of blue lobsters is unknown, as its appeal in a restaurant is almost a moot point.
Restaurant marketers know this. Unless a diner selects their own blue lobster, they might never know a lobster was blue before it arrived at their table.
Still, blue lobsters are sold for as high as $500. One restaurant in California did offer a blue lobster and wagyu special for a meal valued at $560.
A Maine steakhouse might offer a blue lobster meal at a value of $60 per pound, which is not that much different than the standard cost today of a blue lobster.
The more interesting part of a blue lobster’s value lies in its conversational aspect. Some fishermen have sent blue lobsters to restaurants in their commercial business.
There are reports of restaurants then sending the blue lobsters to zoos for interest and educational sake, as the commercial value just isn’t as high as many think it could be.
Blue lobsters are a rare type of lobster, but their value is not as high as we might expect.
If you want to purchase a blue lobster as a unique dinner item, do your research prior to investing a considerable amount of money in a lobster that may well be worth the same as your everyday brown lobster.