Broward County

How Larry the Lobster wound up dead on arrival at a Maine aquarium

Saving Larry: Seafood lovers take mercy on lobster

A group of South Florida seafood lovers decided that a possibly 110-year-old lobster shouldn't be eaten, but saved. They bought him from Sunrise's Tin Fish restaurant and, with the assistance of Tin Fish owner Joe Melluso and Chef Dennis Alvarez,
Up Next
A group of South Florida seafood lovers decided that a possibly 110-year-old lobster shouldn't be eaten, but saved. They bought him from Sunrise's Tin Fish restaurant and, with the assistance of Tin Fish owner Joe Melluso and Chef Dennis Alvarez,

So, what went wrong in transporting Larry the Lobster from Sunrise to Maine?

All 15 pounds of Larry were declared DOA upon his Wednesday arrival at Maine State Aquarium, his age anywhere from 50 to over 100 years old. A group of enviromentally minded professionals saved him from being served at Sunrise’s Tin Fish restaurant on July 20.

John Merritt, founder of iRescue Wildlife, e-mailed an explanation Thursday.

Merritt said Larry already had been out of the water three days when they got him on July 20. Lobsters usually don’t live past 48 hours out of the water, he noted.

“When we first shipped him that day we took posssesion, the Tin Fish did not package him correctly and the box was leaking water,” Merritt’s e-mail read. “FedEx called one of my friends who shipped him at 7:30 at night and asked him to retrieve Larry and repackage him for the next day’s shipment.

“We knew at this point he was getting very stressed so we had to frantically find a place in South Florida where we could get him back into the water to recharge because there was no way he would make it at that point,” Merritt said. “We finally did find a place with the right water and a chiller because he comes from the Northeast. He was there in the water chiller until Tuesday, when he was repackaged and shipped and unfortunately did not make it (frown emoji).

“The whole ordeal was too much stress on him and just wore him down.”

Tin Fish owner Joe Melluso told ABC News, “"I feel like if I had known that he was held up in shipping sooner, I would've offered to bring him back to the lobster tanks he was living in before I had purchased him," he said. "That way, he could have a safe place to stay while they were figuring out the shipping. I'm disappointed by how all this was handled, and I had no clue about any of it."

Not all attempted good deeds have happy endings.

“We did our best — that is all we can say,” Merritt wrote. “The reason we stepped up to save Larry is because he was originally being exploited for profit, and I couldn’t let that happen.’’

  Comments