This rare blue lobster was discovered this week in a shipment to Hallowell Seafood & Produce at 197 Water St. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

HALLOWELL — Justin Underwood, co-owner of Hallowell Seafood & Produce, said Thursday it was jolting to discover a rare electric blue lobster in his latest shipment.

“I was pretty shocked, man,” Underwood said. “I’ve been in the business 16 or 17 years. I’ve been involved in the business since I was a little kid with my dad. It’s just different.”

The lobster came from Robinson’s Wharf in Southport, where retail manager Hugh Thompson said he slipped the blue lobster into Underwood’s shipment to get him “all wound up.”

Johnathan Audet, left, the store manager, and co-owner Justin Underwood display a rare blue lobster and a red lobster Wednesday at Hallowell Seafood & Produce. Photo courtesy of Emily Underwood

“It’s a pretty good blue one,” Thompson said, “and I figured he’d have fun putting it in his case.”

Thompson said Boothbay Harbor fisherman David Tibbetts caught the 1​1⁄4-pound lobster just north of Cabbage Island.

A photo of the lobster was posted Wednesday afternoon to Robinson’s Wharf’s Instagram page.

Thompson said it was the first blue lobster that has come through Robinson’s Wharf this year. He said the business typically sees three each summer.

Thompson said he usually brings “special” lobsters to the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay Harbor, but he was unable to contact the aquarium because it is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was not the first time a rare lobster has shown up in a shipment to a store in central Maine.

In July 2015, a rare calico lobster caught off the coast near Friendship in Knox County was delivered to the 201 Market in Skowhegan. Calico lobsters, also known as orange lobsters, have a unique pattern of mottled orange, yellow and black on their shells.

The likelihood of catching a blue lobster is one in 2 million, according to the University of Maine Lobster Institute.

A rare blue lobster that arrived this week in a shipment to Hallowell Seafood & Produce. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

The blue coloration “comes from a genetic defect that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein,” according to the institute.

Underwood said the blue lobster would either be given to an aquarium or released back to the ocean.

In late July, a blue lobster was found in a shipment to a Red Lobster restaurant in Akron, Ohio.

In 2018, the Portland Press Herald reported a Scarborough fisherman had caught a blue lobster and a one-in-30 million calico lobster.

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