Once in a blue moon a fisherman catches a lobster like this one
FISHERMAN Gerry Sweeney wasn't quite sure what the blue-coloured object was at the end of his lobster pot.
Fishing as usual off the Clare coast, it had been an uneventful day, until the mystery blue object arrived.
It turned out to be a blue lobster, virtually unheard of anywhere around the world.
It is reckoned that only one in almost three million lobsters is blue.
"You never know what you'll get on any day of fishing, but it was a big surprise when I found it in one of the lobster pots," Gerry said.
"I've been fishing for 30 years and have never come across anything like this -- and I don't know of anyone who caught one ever," he said. The blue lobster is reckoned to be the equivalent of an albino human and gets its extraordinary, bright blue colour from a genetic defect.
Gerry brought his catch home and it was quickly put into a special tank and displayed at wife Martina's seafood shop in New Quay, north Clare, where it has been intriguing customers and visitors alike.
And the value?
"Like everything that is rare, it doesn't have a price. I don't think we'll be selling it and it isn't heading for the pot either," said Gerry.
Martina reckons the new arrival is about five years old. It has been separated from other lobsters in the shop and has its own special display tank.
"He's lucky to survive with his colour, because the bright blue pigmentation makes them a target for other creatures of prey when they are born. It's very rare to catch one alive," said Martina.