Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blue Lobster Caught off New Hampshire

"NH man snares rare, cobalt-blue lobster"
The Associated Press (August 21, 2009)

"At first, New Hampshire lobsterman Bill Marconi thought he had caught a shiny blue beer can in his trap. It turns out it was a rare, cobalt-blue lobster. The 52-year-old lobsterman was out hauling 400 traps with his son Wednesday when he snared the 1 1/2-pound lobster in between his dock and the Isle of Shoals, about six miles off the coast...."

That's an odd lobster, but they do show up now and again. The AP article quotes a newspaper, saying that 1 in 5,000,000 lobsters is blue.

It's not that there's something wrong with the blue lobsters - it's that they're better at metabolizing astaxanthin. Never heard of astaxanthin? You're not alone. It's an antioxidant that's in some algae. And, before these odd lobsters get at it, it's red.

And, since it's an antioxidant, it's astaxanthin has its own website. Looks like antioxidants are still fairly hot in the health-food circle. Sort of like spinach was, back in the glory days of Popeye.

Astaxanthin might - or might not - help with high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes. The Mayo Clinic website has some information about the stuff, in its discussion of Red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus)" - astaxanthin shows up under "Synonyms," a page later.

Back to that New Hampshire lobster: the article isn't very long, but shows what can happen when genetics and fishing meet. Related post:
A tip of the hat to wierdnews, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this article.

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