Five things you may not know about lobsters:
1. They can live up to 50 years in the wild.*
2. The largest lobster ever recorded was caught off Nova Scotia, and weighed 20 kilos. That’s almost 45 pounds.*
3. Their claws differ; one is for crushing, while the other is for pinching.
4. If they lose a claw, they can regenerate a new one. It initially grows back jelly-like, then gets bigger and develops a hard shell.
5. In the past, they were considered a ratty bunch of bottom-dwellers - a poor man’s food.
It’s true. We heard story after story about how ‘back in the day,’ it was shameful to bring a lobster sandwich to school. Why? Because it meant your parents couldn’t afford the highly-coveted duo of peanut butter and jam.
Several centuries ago, lobsters were used as fertilizer, and at one time, laws were passed that forbade people from serving lobster to their servants more than twice a week.
As we all know, lobsters eventually became desirable. Why? Two big reasons are over-fishing, which caused their numbers to drop, and an increase in transportation infrastructure, which created greater access to inland consumers.
Today, as with all fisheries in Canada, the lobster catch is regulated; therefore, fewer are caught, and we gladly pay more for this quintessential east coast food.
Over the years, I’ve eaten lobster from time to time, but have never been properly introduced to one. That all changed at Spears Fishing and Charter, in St. Andrews.
It’s run by Jamie and Alison Spear, a husband/wife team who operate a commercial fishing boat part of the year (November - June), and take passengers out for the rest of it (May – November). Their charter trips can be for anything from deep-sea diving to lobster dinners at sunset, and while we didn’t head out on their boat, we did get to meet some of their recently-acquired lobsters.
They’re like leggy, ocean dinosaurs with spotted armour. Alison flipped one over and showed us how to identify its sex (it's a little complicated, you can read about it here).
Did we eat any? You betcha! More stories on these bottom-feeding beasts soon. And did we take any pictures with them? Also yes! Though I genuinely don't remember being a part of this one. According to Dana, I "posed as grumpy because no one is ever grumpy in these pictures."
Down with conformity, and up with the lobster prices. That's how it goes.
*lobster facts fished from www.nationalgeographic.com