Orange lobster: New Jersey Stop and Shop trying to rehome rare crustacean

TOMS RIVER, New Jersey (WABC) -- A Stop & Shop in New Jersey has a rare orange lobster in its tank, and company officials are trying to find it a new home.

Cooked lobsters are generally associated with the color, but experts say it is extremely uncommon for a lobster to be orange while alive.


The crustacean is located at the Toms River store on Lakewood Road.

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Communications Manager Stefanie Shuman says they have reached out to several area aquariums, zoos and aquatic organizations to rehome the lobster but have yet to hear back.

The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine verified its status as rare.

"This is one of a variety of rare color morphs of the American lobster," the institute's Dr. Rick Wahle said. "Unofficial estimates are that they occur in the range of 1 in a million, although I have not seen a scientific assessment of the actual proportion they comprise of the wild population."

Dr. Wahle said that to give a general sense of how rare they are, with about 140 million pounds of lobster harvested annually and with a legal size lobster weighing in at more than 1.25 pounds, it shouldn't be surprising to see roughly 100 of these rare color forms a year throughout the US fishery.

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