Diary - April

Saved from the pot! Rare Orange Lobster is a 1 in 30 million catch!

We recently gained an exciting addition to our well-established captive breeding and release programme, the Lobster Hatchery of Wales, this weekend, when an extremely rare bright orange lobster was supplied for the project! The Common European lobster (Homarus gammarus) is usually a mottled dark blue/greeny-brown colour, until it is boiled and cooked, when it turns orangey/pink colour. The more unusual form of a vivid blue lobster is quite rare, with the probability of catching one considered to be around 1 in 2 million - we currently have a large one on display.

However, this is the first time that anyone here at the Sea Zoo has ever seen a common lobster in the bright orange form, which has the probability of just 1 in 30 million chance of being caught! The only colour thought to be rarer than the orange form is the albino lobster, and the odds of catching one of these is considered to be 1 in 100 million.

This is an incredibly exciting addition to our ongoing captive breeding and conservation programme in the Lobster Hatchery of Wales, and for research into the Common Lobster, particularly as this individual is a female carrying eggs, known as a “berried hen”. We are eagerly anticipating the release of her larvae to see if they are also as orange as the female, and to see as the juveniles develop and grow, if any of them are bright orange!

The orange lobster was given to us by Tristan Wood, Director at The Lobster Pot in Church Bay on Anglesey, who received her as part of a supplied catch and was keen for the lobster to become part of our conservation and breeding programme. Tristan said: “As soon as I saw this amazing female in the lobster catch, she stood out from all the other lobsters, and I knew she was unique and I had to save her from the pot! In all the years I have been working in sustainable lobster fisheries, this is the first time I have seen a bright orange individual like this one. Anglesey Sea Zoo’s Lobster of Hatchery of Wales is the perfect place for her to go!”

We collaborate with local fishermen on Anglesey and around North Wales to help to promote the sustainability of our local fishing stocks through our Hatchery's breeding and release programme for the common lobster, with the aim of maximizing breeding lobster numbers and re-stocking local waters. Over 3000 juvenile lobsters have been released through the project since it started.

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Huge thanks to author Tony Roberts for the book reading sessions of Alfie and the Dragon - it was a real treat! Alfie and the Dragon is also in stock in our Gift Shop!

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Story time! Tony Roberts, the author of Alfie and the Dragon, will be reading his book in our marquee on Saturday April 15th at 1pm and 2.30pm!

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Due to popular demand we'll be doing 2 slots of Turtle Talks for #MenaiTheTurtle starting Thu April 13th: 12pm and 4.45pm. Remember these MUST be pre-booked - more info below!

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Great coverage in the Daily Post today on the story of 'Menai', and her imminent departure to Gran Canaria. She's a very happy, healthy and hungry turtle! See the article here!

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Heart Radio North Wales are doing a competition - enter on their website for a chance to win a family day out at Anglesey Sea Zoo!