A look at the bright side of overfishing…
…and by “bright”, I mean “vibrant”, “vivid” or “brilliant”. I do not mean “positive” “cheerful” or “happy” – though part of me is (admittedly) very excited to see the outcome of this interesting evolution. A few months ago, I saw an article online about a large blue lobster found in Nova Scotia. Now, it turns out that groups of several differently colored, rare lobsters are thriving in the New England and the Canadian Atlantic.
If you haven’t seen a living lobster, they’re usually a greenish-brown color. Alternate colored lobsters recently spotted include pink, purple, blue, orange, white, yellow and calico. Some lobsters are even split colors, right down the middle! And though it may be possible that the increase in confirmed sightings of rare lobster can be attributed to nearly everyone having a camera these days, it’s more likely a result of overfishing.
In a vague and somewhat arbitrary estimation, the likeliness of catching rare lobsters is estimated to be:
- 1 in 2 million – blue
- 1 in 10 million – orange
- 1 in 30 million – yellow, orange/black calico
- 1 in 50 million – split colored
- 1 in 100 million – white
So how could overfishing effect the lobster population? Atlantic cod and monkfish, 2 lobster predators are also on Greenpeace’s list of the most overfished species. So, all lobsters are at less risk of being eaten because there are fewer predators. Plus, since the brilliantly colored lobsters (obviously, those that stand out) are often the first ones to be picked off by predators, the odds are in even greater favor of rare lobster species flourishing.
Culinarily, this phenomenon is insignificant – all colored lobsters (other than the white species) turn red when cooked. Plus, there’s no difference in taste.
However insignificant the color of their shells, I have to admit that I enjoy seeing greater biodiversity – just not because of overfishing.