A 14-year-old Old Orchard Beach girl has added to a summer of lobster oddities.
Meghan LaPlante pulled up a bright blue lobster Saturday from one of the 150 traps she tends off Pine Point in Scarborough. Only about 1 in 2 million lobsters is blue, according to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine in Orono, and Meghan said she will donate hers to the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor on Tuesday.
“It definitely stood out,” said Jay LaPlante, who helps his daughter with her business. LePlante said he’s never seen anything close to the blue lobster they caught Saturday.
Earlier this year, a lobsterman pulled a calico lobster, sporting patches of orange and dark blue on its shell, out of a trap in New Hampshire. It was sent to a Hampton aquarium. Late last month, a bright yellow lobster – origin unknown – ended up in a supermarket tank in Florida, where a customer bought it and sent it to an aquarium in Rye, New Hampshire.
Meghan said she named the blue lobster Skyler because that’s her favorite name. The lobster will be kept in a separate tank from other lobsters until it’s taken to the aquarium. It’s not unusual for lobsters to turn to cannibalism, and Meghan said she wants to make sure that Skyler doesn’t become a victim.
Meghan has a student lobstering license that allows her to set out 150 traps a year. She has operated a business, Miss Meghan Lobster Catch, from her family’s home for the last eight years. She said she’s now exceeded the benchmark of 1,000 hours of lobstering under her student license and will be able to get a commercial license next year. That will allow her to set out 300 traps.
The money she’s earned goes toward her traps and buoys and a college fund, she said.