A VERY RARE blue lobster has been caught off the coast of Co. Wicklow.
A fish wholesaler based in Co. Meath discovered it after fresh delivery of 60 lobsters came in.
Staff at Nick's Fish in Ashbourne were astonished when they noticed the "one-in-two-million lobster" in a delivery container.
It's believed to be one of only a small number of blue lobsters ever caught off the Irish coast.
It's since been named Betty Blue and Nick's Fish staff have notified the Irish Sea Fisheries Protection Authorities in Co. Louth, who plan to release her back into the sea.
"The driver of the van commented that one was an unusual colour but I thought nothing of it," said Niall Murray of Nick's Fish.
"I saw the blue lobster and I couldn't believe it. I think the odds of seeing one is one-in-two-million.
"It's something many will wait a lifetime for."
Exactly why some lobsters are blue no one knows for sure, but many believe it's because if a genetic mutation which causes the animal to produce an excessive amount of protein, resulting in a bright blue hue.
While many think lobsters are pink in the wild, this isn't true. They're usually a murky brown/grey colour, and only turn pink when they've been cooked.
Betty Blue will now stay at Nick's Fish until she's released back into the wild on Wednesday, and staff say they will "take a tiny nick" off her tail in order to mark her as a V-notch lobster.
A V-notch is a mark on a lobster's tail which signifies to other fishermen that it's a protected individual and must be left in the sea. There are heavy fines for anyone landing a V-notch lobster.
It's estimated that 200 million lobsters are caught in the world's oceans every year, so if the one-in-two-million statistic is to be believed, then only 100 blue lobsters are pulled out of the water every year.
** originally published on Sep 20, 2019