Preventing Cannibalism

If you have ever encountered a lobster outside of a restaurant, you know that the claws are kept closed with small rubber bands. But living at the bottom of the sea, the lobster’s claws are its only tools for securing and breaking down food. One is heavier and blunt and is used to hold onto and crush. The other is thinner and is lined with small sharp teeth to cut with.

But contrary to what you might think, those bands are intended to protect the lobsters themselves. They are more likely to take a chunk out of their neighboring lobster rather than you.  I’ve had a larger lobster on the deck take off an arm of another right as it came out of the trap. So, when a “keeper” is added to the catch, the claws are secured using the simple tool and method pictured below.

The colors are irrelevant and have nothing to do with where they were caught. So next time you see those lobsters swimming around in the tank at the seafood counter, you know why and how those bands got there.

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