Lobster Destined for the Pot Gets Another Shot
At the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium
18-pound septuagenarian giant crustacean is loving life in Coney Island
BROOKLYN, NY – August 18, 2011 – Once destined for a toasted buttered roll or blue plate special, an 18-pound American lobster has found a safe home at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. After surviving more than seven decades in the sea, the lobster was trapped in a routine catch off the coast of Canada a few weeks ago. He was shipped by air freight to San Francisco in a container with close to two tons of fellow crustaceans. A local seafood distributor decided the 18-pound behemoth deserved an audience. But finding a home for such a huge lobster isn’t easy.
Calls were made to area aquariums. When one facility posted an ad on the International Forum of Professional Aquarists, the New York Aquarium took notice. “When we saw that ad for an 18-pound American lobster, we knew we had to have it,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium. The lobster is the largest of its species ever to live at the New York Aquarium. “He’s a magnificent creature that has been delighting our guests since his arrival,” adds Dohlin.
Lobsters live an exceptionally long time. The general formula to estimate a lobster’s age is its weight in pounds times four, plus three. This one is an astonishing 75 years old and is still growing. According to the Guinness World Records organization, the largest recorded lobster weighed in at 44 pounds and 6 ounces – more than 180 years old. That lobster was caught in 1977 off the coast of Nova Scotia.
The New York Aquarium’s giant crustacean is now housed in its Sea Cliffs exhibit. There, it shares space with marine mammals like walrus and sea lions, along with hundreds of fish. He eats about three-quarters of a pound of shrimp and fish a day.
WCS conducts research in all four oceans around the world to help save threatened species and their habitats. Last fall, WCS initiated A SEA CHANGE at the New York Aquarium which includes the New York Seascape, a conservation program designed to restore healthy populations of local marine species in the New York Bight from Montauk, New York, to Cape May, New Jersey.
The American, or Maine, lobster is found along the Atlantic Coast, principally from Canada to New Jersey, though the species is most abundant in the Gulf of Maine. To help manage lobster populations, regulations and restrictions determine how they are caught. The goal is to achieve sustainable populations throughout the East Coast.
Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium opens every day of the year at 10am, and closing times vary seasonally. Admission is $14.95 for adults, $10.95 for children ages 3-12 and $11.95 for senior citizens (65 and older); children under 3 years of age are admitted free. Fridays after 3pm, admission is by suggested donation. The Aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street in Coney Island. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other Aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web site at http://www.nyaquarium.com. Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the New York Aquarium, Brooklyn’s most heavily attended attraction and a beloved part of the City of New York.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
You can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places at wcs.org.
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