A blue lobster was caught off the coast of Portland on Wednesday. Credit: CBS 13

PORTLAND, Maine — A blue lobster was caught Wednesday off the coast of Portland.

The two-man team of Captain George Stover and Sternman Joseph Parker of the Karen Marie caught the lobster.

Parker said the lobster was legal, but they decided to release it back into the ocean because they didn’t want it to live in captivity.

Blue crustaceans are very rare and occur in nature once for every two million normal lobsters. A protein imbalance causes the odd coloring, according to National Geographic.

Maine lobstermen have caught a number of rare lobsters over the past few years. A Maine fisherman hauled in an extremely rare “ghost lobster” off the coast of Stonington in 2018 and a calico lobster was caught off the coast of Scarborough in the same year. In October, a completely blue lobster was caught off the coast of Vinalhaven.

The most recent rare catch in Maine was in May when a two-tone lobster was gifted to the University of New England’s Marine Science Center in Biddeford. The distinct lobster is marked by a pattern that divides its body down the center.

BDN writer Rosemary Lausier contributed to this report.