HALIFAX – A giant lobster caught in the Bay of Fundy has been returned to his ocean home–thanks to a Halifax vegan and animal activist.
Katie Conklin tells NEWS 95.7 when a family member told her about the 23 lb. crustacean, she took “fairly immediate action” and called the Alma Lobster Shop in southern New Brunswick where it was being kept.
“I really didn’t expect my day to start by saving some lobster’s life,” she said of King Louie, a lobster roughly 100-years-old and about four-feet long.
Conklin said when she called, the store owners hadn’t made a decision on what they would do with the lobster, so she offered to pay for it to be released back into the wild.
“He wasn’t meant to be caught,” said Conklin. “With the size of a lobster trap, it’s amazing that it was even caught to begin with. For people who would’ve eaten it, it would’ve been so tough.”
Because lobster is $10 per pound, Conklin said she paid $230 for King Louie, but for her, it was never about the money.
“I would have saved a two-pound lobster,” she said. “It was never about the $230, which is funny because I’m not a millionaire by any means.”
Some offered to help her with the cost, but Conklin said she didn’t accept any money because the deal had already been sealed.
So far, she said the reaction to what she did has been positive.
“The whole message is that all lives matter and King Louie deserved to be back in the ocean living out the rest of his life.”
According to Conklin, fisherman Rodney MacDonald put King Louie back in the Bay of Fundy Tuesday afternoon and said he had never released a lobster back into the ocean before.
MacDonald thanked “Katie” for what she did, before putting the giant lobster back into the water.
“Just to hear that, it really means a lot. For him to thank me and recognize that this lobster’s life does matter… that’s enough impact for me,” she said.
Co-owner of the Alma Lobster Shop, Catherine MacDonald, bought the crustacean this week from a fisherman in St. Martins, N.B.
MacDonald, who has worked in the fishing industry her entire life, said he’s not the biggest she’s ever seen–there’s a 26-pounder that her dad mounted on the wall of the shop.
It’s not the only unusual lobster to come through the shop. MacDonald said they keep many curious creatures in a tank for visitors to view, including an orange lobster, a blue lobster, and a lobster with barnacles on its back in the shape of a heart.
With files from the Canadian Press.