Things turn out all-white for rare Beara lobster

July 23rd, 2018 10:10 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Castletownbere skipper Donagh O'Connor with the very rare female white lobster caught off the Mizen Head. (Niall Duffy, West Cork Photo)

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A SPECIAL hatchery has been set up at Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium for the very pregnant and very rare white lobster that was caught in Bantry Bay.

Kevin Flannery, the director of Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, said the lobster was a ‘one in a million’ catch for Donagh O’Connor, the Castletownbere-based skipper of the Fair Maiden fishing vessel.

The lobster – which has yet to be named by the listeners of the Ray D'Arcy Show – travelled by tank on Wednesday to the aquarium where it will remain in the hatchery until she releases her young.

‘She could be carrying as many 5,000 eggs but approximately only 1% of these will survive and it is our intention to release them back into the wild in Bantry Bay after a period of three or more weeks,’ said Mr Flannery.

Local photographer, Niall Duffy, who also works for the Skipper, heard about the unusual catch and was aware of how rare it was. And it was Mr Duffy who made the connection between the skipper and the aquarium.

Mr Flannery told The Southern Star that a normal lobster gets its colour by mixing yellow, blue and red protein pigments but different genetic mutations can result in a blue, yellow or red lobster, or indeed the albino variety.

On July 12th last, the hatchery also became home to a rare red female lobster that was caught off the Maherees in West Kerry. Both the red and the white (Cork colours) can been seen at Dingle Oceanworld.


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