Shell-dorado: Extremely rare gold-colored lobster pulled from sea off Northern France

Yann Duchesne plucked the gold-colored crustacean from one of his pots near Île Saint-Rion in Paimpol Bay on the Côtes-d’Armor last week and quickly ruled out making a meal of his discovery.

“It’s out of the question that he ends up on a plate, when you only meet one in your life. Like all that is rare, it must be seen,” Duchesne told Ouest France.

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According to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine in the US, there is only one yellow lobster in 30 million. In cases of blue lobsters, the number rises to one in two million. Meanwhile, the rarest type is the albino lobster – the chances of finding one are around one in 100 million.

Duchesne’s yellow lobster has now been sold to the Grand Aquarium in nearby St Melo. “He is doing well and eats well,” said aquariologist Yann Guillouzo in an email to   

Guillouzo said there has been a rise in the number of brightly colored lobsters found in European waters this year, with some having a rich blue and orange tint.

These types of lobsters had been rare because their bright exterior means they lack natural camouflage, making them susceptible to predators. Guillouzo believes the recent rise is down to the decline of natural predators, such as the conger eel, in areas where trawling occurs.  

“If there are fewer predators, they are less likely to be caught,” he said.

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