The original award-winning NEFSC FishFAQ, created in 1993, has been archived.
For current information, please see our new FAQ.

big lobster

What color is a lobster's blood?

Colorless. When exposed to oxygen, it develops a bluish color.

What is "tomalley"?

Tomalley is the lobster's liver. It turns green when cooked and is considered a delicacy.

What is the coral colored material often seen in a cooked lobster?

Coral is the egg mass of a female lobster. Cooking colors the tiny eggs a deep coral or red.

How does a lobster grow?

Lobsters grow by molting. This is the process in which they struggle out of their old shells while simultaneously absorbing water which expands their body size. This molting, or shell-shedding, occurs about 25 times in the first 5-7 years of life. Following this cycle, the lobster will weigh approximately one pound and reach minimum legal size. A lobster at minimum legal size may then only molt once per year and increase about 15% in length and 40% in weight. No one has yet found a way to determine the exact age of a lobster. However, based on scientific knowledge of body size at age, the maximum age attained may approach 100 years. They can grow to be 3 feet or more in overall body length.

young lobsters Young Lobsters

How many times must a lobster molt before it reaches market size?

Between 20 and 30 molts take place before a lobster reaches the one-pound market size.

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