Giant lobster caught in Taitung, released

08/21/2019 07:05 PM
Photo from Chi Hsiang-yu
Photo from Chi Hsiang-yu

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) A giant ornate spiny lobster (panulirus ornatus) was caught off the coast of eastern Taitung County and released Wednesday by a local voluntary group that has released more than 300 lobsters over the past six years, according to environmental activist Chi Hsiang-yu (池祥鈺).

The lobster, weighing around three kilograms and 40 centimeters in length, was caught by a fisherman and released by Chi.

The lobster, carrying roe on its underside, is five times heavier than the common species of spiny lobster (panulirus homarus) found along the east coast of Taiwan, which weigh up to only 600 grams and are 20 cm in length, Chi said.

The released lobster is also the heaviest ornate spiny lobster caught in Taitung in recent years. Two were caught and set free in 2014 and 2018, respectively, both weighing 2.4 kg, the conservationist said.

Although the lobster has high market value and is even nicknamed the "god lobster" by Chinese culinary culture due to its size and distinctive coloration, it was released by a local group based in Taitung's Changbin Township that is trying to reintroduce healthy lobster populations to Taitung, Chi said.

The voluntary group, without help from the government, has released more than 300 lobsters at an undisturbed beach in Taitung over the past six years, Chi added.

(By Tyson Lu and Chi Jo-yao)


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