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Frequently Asked Questions

What color is lobsterís blood?
A lobsterís blood is colourless.  When itís exposed to oxygen it develops a bluish colour.

What is tomalley?
The tomalley is actually part of a lobsterís digestive tract, the midgut glands.  However, most people think of tomalley as the liver.  Tomalley turns green when itís cooked, and is considered a delicacy by many. 

What is roe?
The red, or deep coral looking mush often found in a cooked lobster is actually the unfertilized egg mass of a female. Some people enjoy eating this part as well. 

How do you tell a lobsterís age?
There is no foolproof way to determine a lobsterís age.  One can only make an educated guess by looking at the lobsterís size.

How long can a lobster live out of water?
A lobster can live out of the water for a couple of days if kept in a moist and cool place. 

How can a lobster live so long out of water?
A lobster can extract the oxygen from the air, but in order to do this its gills must be kept moist or they will collapse.

Why does a lobster turn red when itís cooked?
All the pigments that make up a lobsters shell are destroyed by heat except the red pigment.  This is why lobsters turn red when they are cooked.

Why donít you ever see a lobsterís molted shell?
You usually donít see the lobsterís molted shell because most lobsters actually digest them after they molt so that they can absorb the calcium in them to strengthen their new soft shell.

Is it possible to raise lobsters on a commercial basis?
Although numerous people have tried to raise lobsters on a commercial basis throughout the years they have all proven unsuccessful.  It takes so long for a lobster to reach a marketable size that it is financially unfeasible to raise them.

How can you tell when a lobster is cooked?
A lobster is cooked when it is bright red in colour and when the legs and antennae can be pulled off easily.  The tomalley should be green and firm, the roe bright red and the meat white, elastic and opaque.

How can you tell the sex of a lobster?
If you look at the first pair of swimmerets on the underside of the tail you will be able to tell if you have a male or female.  If they are hard and rigid then you have a male and if they are soft and feathery you have a female. You can also tell by looking at the width of the tail.  A female will have a wider tail compared with an equivalent sized male.  She needs this extra width to carry her eggs.

Do lobsters suffer and feel pain when being cooked?
Lobsters are invertebrates and do not have a complex nervous system like humans.  They are similar to a grasshopper whose brain is small and consists only of a bundle of nerves. Because they are quite simplistic in nature they do not have the same threshold of pain as we do and therefore do not feel pain to the same degree as us.

Can lobsters swim?
Adult lobsters do not swim.  They crawl by using their walking legs and by contracting and retracting their tail. However, lobster larvae that have not settled to the bottom yet float through the ocean with the water current.  As they grow older they swim with the use of their swimmerets and walking legs.  Once they reach the bottom they remain there for good.

Why is it that lobsters are fished in different areas in different months?
This is done for conservation measures. If it was a free-for-all and anybody could fish lobster at any time of the year, certain areas might be in danger of being over fished and the lobster population could be seriously affected.

How big can lobsters grow?
The largest lobster ever recorded weighed in at 44 lb. 6 oz. and measured 3 ft. 6 in. from the end of the tail to the tip of the largest claw.  It was caught off southern Nova Scotia in 1977 and sold to a restaurant in New York City. 

In the Pliocene period, over a million years ago, lobsters were five to six feet long!  These days a 3 or 4 pound lobster is considered a good sized feast!

Can you eat lobster when there is a shellfish ban?
Yes you can.  Unlike mussels, oysters and clams, lobsters are not ďfilter feedersĒ.  They do not pump sea water and any pollution that the water might carry through their bodies. Toxins in the water do not concentrate in their flesh.

How does a lobster trap work?
Click HERE and find out!  


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