Monster lobster retires to Coney Island

Monster lobster retires to Coney Island
Courtesy New England Lobster Company

An 18-pound lobster who was saved from the pot by a kind-hearted seafood company will live out his golden years at Coney Island’s New York Aquarium.

The ancient crustacean — at 75, one year younger, than our own Carmine Santa Maria — was captured off the Canadian coastline earlier this month and shipped to the New England Lobster Company in San Francisco. A worker amazed at his size launched an online search for a home for the lucky lobster, before he could get sold to the hungriest bidder.

The New York Aquarium replied right away.

“The lobster has a certain presence, a certain gravitas,” said John Dohlin, the aquarium’s director, who arranged to bring the age-defying sea dweller to Coney Island, where he went on display last week in a separate tank in the lobster exhibit.

The behemoth is male, lives off of shrimp and tiny fish and boasts claws as big as catcher’s mitts. And unlike humans, he’ll continue to grow as long as he lives.

“Check back in 25 years and see how he’s doing,” Dohlin said. “This guy could live for ages.”

That may be true, but he now won’t end up on a plate, and experts we spoke to at the borough’s top seafood spots agree that’s a good thing.

“It would taste tough,” said Prini Randazzo, the co-owner of Randazzo’s Clam Bar, whose chefs have cooked up nine-pound lobsters. “It’d have to cook for a long time.”

Experts say that the best tasting lobsters are 1-1/4 pounds (butter optional).

That’s a big lobster! Josiah Outten looks on with amazement at the New York Aquarium’s newest addition: a 75-year-old, 18-pound lobster.
Photo by Steve Solomonson