Giant lobster saved from the pot
Published 15/03/2011 | 11:31
A giant lobster which is believed to be more than 50 years old has been saved from the pot after a fisherman took pity on it after catching it off the UK coast.
The creature, which measures about 3ft (1m) in length and weighs nearly 9lb (4kg), was landed in 46ft (14m) of water in Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex, by Marcus Hyde on his boat Hey Jude while fishing for sole.
But because Mr Hyde considered the lobster too old and too special to be eaten, he decided to donate it to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
The lobster is now being given a "peaceful retirement" home in the aquarium's sandy seabed display.
Blue Reef's Lindsay Holloway said: "He's a fantastic specimen and by his size alone he has got to be at least 50 years old.
"He is an amazing creature and it's quite an achievement to have reached such an impressive age.
"There are loads of lobster-sized nooks and crevices in the display and he'll be able to live out the remainder of his days in extremely comfortable surroundings, safe from the pot."
Lobsters, which can live for more than 80 years, are born with a cutting claw and a crushing claw.
The crusher could grow on either the left or right side depending on which is used more frequently.
The claws, which are used to crush the lobster's prey of crabs, grow much faster than the rest of the body and, in one specimen caught, the claws were twice the weight of the rest of the body.