Stuart Brown, a skipper in Northern Ireland, caught a rare blue lobster in what he has described as the catch of a lifetime.
Brown, 28, from Bangor in Co Down, said he was fishing aboard his boat Huntress in Belfast Lough on February 3, when he caught the rare blue lobster.
Some marine biologists have estimated that the chances of catching a blue lobster are one in two million.
A rare blue lobster caught today onboard Huntress. Very white underside and a pale blue shell. (Before anyone asked,...Posted by Seafresh on Friday, February 3, 2023
"We were sitting in about 50 to 60 feet of water and the fourth pot came up," Brown told the PA news agency, adding that he could not believe his eyes when he saw the lobster.
"I sort of saw it, but I think I thought, ‘it’s just a lobster’. You could hear the tail going."
However, when Brown looked at the lobster again, he realized that it was "too blue."
"You would get lobsters out there that don’t look normal, they’d be a bit browner or redder, just something different with them, but nothing that extreme," he told the PA.
Brown revealed that a few weeks ago, he found a lobster that was about 10 pounds, describing it as "a nice wee surprise."
A fisherman has described landing a rare blue lobster in Belfast Lough as the catch of a lifetime pic.twitter.com/eiy8GrgPix— PA Media (@PA) February 7, 2023
Brown released the rare blue lobster after taking photographs of it as it was just below the allowable size to keep.
"It's still out in the lough somewhere, swimming about as happy as can be. Hopefully, if someone else does catch it, they'll return it as well," he added.
Brown said the lobster is now one of the "weird and wonderful things" he has come across while out at sea.
He said: "You just never know what’s going to come up."
In 2017, a fisherman in Co Mayo made a similarly unexpected discovery when he caught a rare white lobster.
Rare white lobster takes up residency in aquarium on Achill Island after being discovered by local fisherman pic.twitter.com/6HHPzpdvrU— RTÉ News (@rtenews) May 5, 2017