Metro

Raffled monster lobster now aquarium’s prize

Drawing winner at market gives up 21-pounder

The lobster will be on exhibit in the NewEngland Aquarium after a routine 30-day quarantine.

David L. Ryan / Globe Staff

The lobster will be on exhibit in the New England Aquarium after a routine 30-day quarantine.

It’s a biggie.

The New England Aquarium recently gained a rather large addition to its crustacean collection: a 21-pound lobster.

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A fisherman caught the denizen of the deep while diving in Orleans and sold it there to Capt’n Elmer’s Fish Market, which decided to capitalize on the novelty of the monster lobster.

Market owner Michelle Costa said staff held a raffle — which raised $3,400 — to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The winner would receive 21 pounds of retail-size lobsters and have the chance to accompany fish market staff as they released the lobster, according to a press release.

But the anonymous winner declined the feast and asked that the the giant lobster be donated to the New England Aquarium instead.

Aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse said the lobster arrived Monday afternoon. It will be on exhibit in the Cold Marine Gallery after a routine 30-day quarantine.

“It’s in its own huge, big tank by itself,” LaCasse said.

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He said that the aquarium already houses a lobster of a similar size and that the two will be rotated in the exhibit.

LaCasse said the aquarium separates its lobsters into two groups. Thousands of smaller lobsters are not exhibited and are sent to the lobster nursery research lab instead, or sent away.

The more interesting lobsters — those that are orange, calico, cobalt blue, or impressive in size — are shown off in the exhibit tanks.

LaCasse said federal and state authorities have passed stricter regulations to protect the reproductive capacity of large lobsters, because they are “clearly very genetically superior” and are important for breeding purposes in the wild.

LaCasse is unsure whether the large lobster will get a name.

“We have had lobsters who have been named before,” he said, recalling “Lobzilla,” a 35-pound lobster that lived at the aquarium in the 1980s. “But some of the biologists don’t care to name the animals that they care for.”

Melissa Werthmann can be reached at melissa.werthmann@globe.com.
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