18-pound lobster gets reprieve

Joe Norton, owner of Mullaney\'s Fish Market in Scituate, holds an 18-pound lobster he calls Luke. (Courtesy Gary Higgins/The Patriot Ledger)

WASHINGTON — A huge lobster is getting a reprieve, thanks to the kindness of a seafood market owner.

The lobster — dubbed “Luke” by the staff at Mullaney’s Fish Market in Scituate, Massachusetts — is 18 pounds and believed to be at least 75 years old.

Market owner Joby Norton tells The Patriot Ledger he has a soft spot for the old crustacean and refuses to sell it.

Luke has been hanging around the fish market for the last three weeks, and will be returned to the sea this weekend.

Because lobsters shed their armor every year, it’s difficult to say exactly how old Luke is, but a 1-pound lobster typically is five to seven years old.

Luke is big, but is not the largest lobster caught off the coast of Massachusetts.

In 1974, “Big George” took the record at 37.4 pounds,according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

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