Friday 30 September 2016

Super heavyweight lobster JJ settles into new home

Published 26/08/2016 | 12:36

JJ the giant common lobster is the biggest common lobster discovered in UK waters since 1931 (National Marine Aquarium/PA)
JJ the giant common lobster is the biggest common lobster discovered in UK waters since 1931 (National Marine Aquarium/PA)

The heaviest UK-landed common lobster is settling into his new home.

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Weighing in at nearly 17lb (7.65kg), he is the heaviest common lobster to be discovered in UK waters since 1931.

The lobster, which was initially called Lionel, was discovered earlier this month in waters off Lannacombe Beach, north Devon, by free diver Joe Pike.

It was taken to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth to be weighed and checked over by vets.

The lobster has now joined the Aquarium's Plymouth Sound tank with a brand new name, JJ - in honour of British Olympic silver medal-winning boxer Joe Joyce, a super heavyweight.

Aquarium curator James Wright said: "After weighing JJ in at 7.65kg, it does indeed look like he is the heaviest common lobster to be discovered in UK waters since 1931.

"It is however, very hard to age a lobster, especially at this size due to the frequency with which they moult, and growth is affected by all kinds of factors, but we estimate he is around 50 to 70 years old.

"As JJ had experienced a significant amount of time out of the water, we needed to make sure that no long-term damage had been imposed.

"He has spent some time with our husbandry team who have been monitoring his progress very closely and we're happy to report he has been feeding well and is on the road to recovery.

"JJ now has pride of place welcoming visitors to the first display they see in our Plymouth Sound exhibit.

"Once he's made a full recovery, he will be moved to our Eddystone Reef exhibit, where he will join other native marine species, such as bass, pollock, greater spotted catsharks and smoothhound sharks."

Europe's biggest ever common lobster was caught off Fowey in Cornwall in 1931 and weighed nearly 20lb (9kg).

Common lobsters are dark blue in colour with yellowish spots and can measure up to 3ft (1m) in total length.

Press Association

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