The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: lobster

Wish You Were Here: The Lobster Roll. A South Sea Interpretation.

Scuttlefish writer Owen James Burke is currently rambling around New Zealand in a camper van with a camera, surfboard and speargun in search of stories, waves and fish. We’re putting together a waterperson’s guide to the island nation, but meanwhile, we’ll be publishing stories and photographs, short updates along the way from the Yankee in Kiwiland. -CD

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Photo: Owen James Burke.

This past week, I’ve been spending a lot of time rooting around in the kelp-laden rocks along the lobster-rich eastern shore of New Zealand, where spring tides bring the post-spawn crustaceans into the shallows.

So, naturally, having had lobster–or ‘crayfish’ as they’re known in New Zealand–about nine different ways (sashimi–still my favorite, steamed, seared in oil with chillies, curried, in a taco . . .) I couldn’t help but turn back and attempt to recreate the simple but classic New England lobster roll–or at least my South Pacific take on the dish–as I knew it growing up.

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“Release All the Big Ones.” Night Diving with Giant Spiny Lobsters off Southern California.

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“Got a nice eight-pound lobster here. Release all the big ones.” That’s not something you’re likely to hear anywhere in the world (regarding lobster, at least). Screenshot from video below.

Spiny lobster (or cray, as they’re known here in New Zealand) let their guards down and stray from their holes at night, when foraging along the open seafloor is relatively safer for them. Most lobsters you’ll find off Southern California will be around two pounds or so, but this crew of divers has found a honey hole.

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Meet the 23-Year-Old Lobsterwoman Paying off College Loans by Living the Dream in Maine


Photo: Charlotte Wilder/

“One thing I like about being a girl out here is that they can’t pay me less than a guy,” 23-year-old Maine lobster boat captain Sadie Samuels told “They just can’t. There’s a price per pound, and fuel costs the same whether you’re a guy or a girl.”

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Behold, The World’s Most Colorful Squat Lobster


Photo: © Moorea Biocode Project/Creative Commons.

There are well over 100 species of squat lobster, and while the genera Galathea, to which this specimen belongs, currently contains 70 species worldwide,Galathea pilosa is surely the most vivid.

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The Canadian-American War Over Two Tiny, Treeless Maritime Islands

1942 Eric Aldwinckle and Albert E. Cloutier. Lick them over there

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Lobstermen are a brutish breed; I say this only because I grew up amongst them. Even at 12 and 13 years of age while fishing in my small skiff, Blues Dory, I had horrific confrontations with them. Guns were drawn, expletives were shouted. All at a young boy quietly fishing in his little open skiff.

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Above: The American, true, northern, or Maine lobster (Homarus americanus), depending on whom you ask. Others just call it Maritime gold. Photo: Santa Barbara Fish Market.

It’s a precious commodity those men spend their lives chasing, and they’ll guard their traps and their catch to the bitter end.

Above: Machias Seal Rock, one of two disputed islands between the Gulf of Maine (USA) and New Brunswick (CA), upon which only Canada has staked its flag. Photo: Fred J. Field/CP.

A pair of islands in what is called “the gray area” between the United States and Canada are more or less barren, arid low-lying protrusions from the sea–rocks, really. One, called North Rock, is home to a gray seal colony. The other, Machias Seal Rock, is a puffin sanctuary and Canada’s (or so they claim) last manned lighthouse. It’s also only .1 square kilometers and uninhabitable, for all intents and purposes. So why has a battle between The United States and Canada continued to quietly ensue since, well, The American Revolution?

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This Two-Tone Lobster Caught off Maine Is a “One in 50 Million Catch,” Researchers Say


The lobster is on display at the Pine Point Fisherman’s Co-Op in Scarborough, Maine. Photo: Yoon S. Byun/AP.

I wonder if he–this particular specimen appears to be a malehas any friends concerned with his whereabouts, or if all the others picked on him? Did his parents love him just the same?

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Wish You Were Here: Janti’s Happy Island, The Grenadines


Janti’s Happy Island, Clifton Harbor, The Grenadines. (Photo: Uncommon Caribbean)

Over a decade ago, a man by the name of Janti was employed to remove empty conch shells from a beach on Union Island in the Grenadines when he was struck with the novel idea to make an island of them. He did just that, and today is the proud proprietor of Happy Island, a refuge for rum, conch and bug (lobster) lovers alike.

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Spineless: Susan Middleton’s Potraits of Marine Invertebrates Like You’ve Never Seen Before



Image courtesy of Abrams Books

Acclaimed photographer Susan Middleton’s gorgeous new coffee table book, “Spineless” showcases portraits of just about every marine invertebrate (animals without backbones) you could think of. Middleton’s opening paragraph sets the stage with two quotes from giants of the fashion world – as analogous to the natural world.

 “What we imagine may be very beautiful but nothing replaces reality.” – Yves Saint Laurent

 “There is no better designer than nature.” – Alexander McQueen

 In Spineless, Middleton explores the mysterious and surprising world of marine invertebrates, which represent more than 98 percent of the known animal species in the ocean. They are also astonishingly diverse in their shapes, patterns, textures, and colors—in nature’s fashion show, they are the haute couture of marine life.




 Image courtesy of Abrams Books

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