Feb 23 The biggest lobster ever caught in
Maine, a 27-pounder (12.25 kg) nicknamed "Rocky" with
claws tough enough to snap a man's arm, was released back into
the ocean on Thursday after being trapped in a shrimp net last
week, marine officials said.
The 40-inch (one-meter) male crustacean, about
the size of a 3-year-old child, was freed in the waters of the
Atlantic Ocean, said Elaine Jones, education director for the
state's Department of Marine Resources.
"All the weight is in the claws," Jones said. "It would
break your arm."
The lobster was caught near the seaside village of Cushing
and brought to the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay. The
state restricts fishermen from keeping lobsters that measure
more than 5 inches (1.27 cm) from the eye to the
start of the tail.
Because he became acclimated to the water near the aquarium,
the lobster was released in West Boothbay rather than where he
Scientists are unable to accurately estimate the age of
lobsters of this size, said Jones.
The marine lab has no record of a larger lobster being
caught in the state, she said. The world's largest recorded
lobster was a 44-pounder (20-kg) caught off Nova
Scotia in 1977, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Maine lobstermen hauled in a record 100 million pounds
(45.4 tonnes) of lobsters last year, due in part to
overfishing of predators such as haddock, cod and monkfish.
(Editing by Paul Thomasch and Sandra Maler)