As of today, National Aquarium, Washington DC will be the new home for Toby, a rare blue lobster found off the coast of Maryland. Toby’s particular blue hue is said to be a 1-in-2-million exception to the reddish-brown shade of most lobsters.
The lobster has been staying in Martin’s Fish Co.’s lobster tank since he was caught Thursday by John Gourley on his fishing boat, the Pot Luck, near Ocean City, Md. Gourley decided to donate the lobster to National Aquarium, Washington, DC.
National Aquarium staff are picking up Toby from Martin’s Fish Co. today, but will not immediately place him on exhibit due to standard precautionary measures regarding the safety of a new species. Toby will eventually be placed in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuaries exhibit, which currently houses three black sea bass and one tautog. National Aquarium hopes to have Toby on display by July 4.
“We are always excited to be able to share new animals with our guests, but this lobster is particularly special,” said Bob Ramin, Chief Development Officer of National Aquarium and Executive Director of National Aquarium, Washington, DC. “Toby will be the perfect addition to our National Aquarium family.”
According to the University of Maine Lobster Institute, Toby is blue due to a genetic variation that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein. This characteristic is estimated to be present in every 1-in-2-million lobsters born.