FRIENDSHIP, Maine — Ricky Louis Felice Jr. said he hopes that he will encounter again the more-than-3-foot-long lobster he helped haul in two months ago.
Felice served as a crew member aboard the lobster boat Big Dipper when on May 20 in offshore waters near Friendship the huge crustacean was pulled aboard in one of the traps. Felice had recently moved to the midcoast area with his girlfriend and was working aboard her father’s lobster boat.
“It was the largest lobster I have ever seen,” Felice said.
The lobster was returned to the ocean but Felice said he hopes he could haul him again some time just to see him.
Maine law prohibits keeping lobsters whose body length as measured from the eye socket to the beginning of the tail is more than 5 inches long or less than 3 and a quarter inches long.
Diane Cowan, executive director and senior scientist for The Lobster Conservancy based in Friendship, said it is not routine to see such a large lobster. She said, however, that you will see a few caught each year, generally in the earlier part of the season before they molt.
Cowan said there is no way to determine the age of a lobster because they are individual and grow at different rates even in the same area of the ocean.
Felice said when he showed the photograph of himself holding the lobster to friends they told him he should post it on Facebook, which he did Monday. Then, he said, he was contacted by media representatives from Maine and as far away as Boston who wanted to talk to him about the large lobster.