An 18-pound lobster once destined for the table has been spared and now lives in a new, safe home at the New York Aquarium.
After surviving more than seven decades in the sea, the massive crustacean was trapped in a routine catch off the coast of Canada a few weeks ago.
He was shipped by air freight to San Francisco in a container with nearly two tons of fellow crustaceans.
A local seafood distributor decided the 18-pound behemoth deserved a fate different from his doomed companies.
Calls were made to area aquariums. When one facility posted an ad on the International Forum of Professional Aquarists, the New York Aquarium took notice.
“When we saw that ad for an 18-pound American lobster, we knew we had to have it,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, Wildlife Conservation Society vice president and director of the New York Aquarium.
The lobster is the largest of its species ever to live at the New York Aquarium.
“He’s a magnificent creature that has been delighting our guests since his arrival,” adds Dohlin.
Lobsters live an exceptionally long time for crustaceans. The general formula to estimate a lobster’s age is its weight in pounds times four, plus three. This one is 75 years old and is still growing.
According to the Guinness World Records organization, the largest recorded lobster weighed in at 44 pounds and 6 ounces – more than 180 years old. That lobster was caught in 1977 off the coast of Nova Scotia.
The New York Aquarium’s giant crustacean is now housed in its Sea Cliffs exhibit. There, it shares space with marine mammals like walrus and sea lions, along with hundreds of fish. It eats about three-quarters of a pound of shrimp and fish a day.