How to determine the age of lobsters and crabs

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PORTLAND, ME – They say the eyes are the window to the soul. If that’s the case, this is an old soul. For years scientists haven’t been able to clearly identify how old lobsters and crabs are when they come in off the boats. But researchers at the University of New Brunswick changed that.

In the past, fishermen guessed at lobster’s ages based on how big they were. Since crustaceans molt their shells, there was no real way to tell. Turns out, the age is in the eyes. The same way scallops and clams grow age-rings inside their shells, lobsters and crabs grow the rings in their eyestalks. And some of the babies gracing your dinner plate may be older than you.

The study determined that many lobsters and crabs can live to be 75 to a 100. But does that make for a better meal?

The research also allows for a better understanding of seafood sustainability and regulations. Not to mention an explanation for all those pint-sized shuffleboards and A.A.R.P. brochures on the ocean floor.

Hey – who knew?