Paul Tasha, a commercial lobster diver, has been fishing for about 40 years had a big surprise. He was diving for lobster off of Race Point in Provincetown, MA, a part of the Outer Cape Cod (OCC) management area when he came across a 31-pound male lobster crawling along the bottom (at a depth of approximately 30 feet). The lobster’s carapace was 231 mm or just over nine inches.
According to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Lobster Technical Committee this is one of the largest lobster caught and recorded in recent times. The crusher claw was bigger than the average adult males head. Prior this capture, the largest lobster Tasha had caught was 22 pounds. Mr. Tasha had several offers to buy the lobster for over $150, but he thought it was more important to return this large lobster to the ocean. A female lobster of this size will produce almost five times as many eggs as a 3 1/4” lobster. Since lobsters need mates similar in size, it was important to release this large male. The OCC is the only lobster management area where there is no maximum size so it would have been legal to keep the lobster. Derek Perry of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries tagged, measured, and weighted the lobster before Mr. Tasha released it.
This post was written by Tina Berger and Toni Kerns of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Thank you!