February 23, 2012 by staff
27-pound Lobster, When fisherman Robert Maloney of Cushing brought in his last shrimp trawl of the 2012 season Feb. 17, he did not expect to find the 27-pound crustacean that had gotten caught in the grate that is designed to keep fish and lobsters out of his net.
“I’m mainly a lobsterman,” said Maloney in a Feb. 23 phone interview. “That’s why it was kind of neat. It wouldn’t even fit in one of my lobster traps.” When Maloney saw that he had caught a very large lobster, he brought it to Sgt. Rene Cloutier of Maine Marine Patrol.
“He thought the aquarium would be interested in having it,” said Cloutier.
Department of Marine Resources biologist Carl Wilson said Feb. 23 the healthy male lobster that Cloutier brought to the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor is “in great condition. There’s no evidence of shell disease. It looks like it’s had a pretty good life to date.”
Measuring that life is no easy task, said Wilson. Because lobsters must shed their shells in order to grow, the hard body parts that scientists use to measure growth are discarded on a regular basis.
Wilson said the big-clawed male, which is the largest lobster the DMR lab has ever seen, is probably between 40 and 60 years old. Maloney thought it might be even older, because lobsters may not shed every year as they get on in age.
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