Watch a Lucky Fisherman Catch a Mega Lobster Carrying 80,000 Eggs

close up of large yellow banded lobster being held by caucasian male in orange overalls, Maine, USA
© spwidoff/

Written by Kellianne Matthews

Updated: October 22, 2023

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What could be more exciting than catching a large lobster? How about catching a giant lobster carrying around 80,000 eggs? That’s exactly what happened to Jacob Knowles, a fisherman from Maine. He recently posted a TikTok video of his catch that has since gone viral.

Click The Video Below To See The Incredible Mother Lobster!

And yet, instead of keeping his behemoth catch, Knowles released her back into the ocean — after giving her a complimentary snack by placing a fish inside her large claw! All those tiny babies under her tail were safe thanks to his kindness and knowledge about responsible fishing practices that protect our oceans and its inhabitants from overfishing or exploitation.

Let’s take a deeper look at this wild story and find out why Knowles released the giant egg-carrying lobster back into the ocean!

Lobster under rock

Most Maine lobsters are green to blend in near rocks.


What Makes This Lobster Such an Incredible Catch?

To understand why this catch was so special, let’s take a look at what makes pregnant female lobsters — or “eggers” — so unique. As you can imagine, these female lobsters are carrying thousands of tiny little baby lobsters under their tails! Female lobsters can carry up to 10,000 eggs per pound of body weight. Knowles’ lobster weighed around 7 pounds, which means she was likely carrying 70,000 to 80,000 eggs!

What’s more impressive is that a female lobster carries all these eggs under her tail for almost an entire year! After the eggs hatch, it is a challenging journey to reach adulthood. In fact, it is estimated that only two of every 50,000 eggs survive to grow large enough to legally catch. The harvesting regulations in Maine help to ensure that enough adult female lobsters with reproductive capabilities remain in the population so that future generations can thrive.

Since it is illegal to harvest pregnant lobsters in Maine due to overfishing and dwindling population numbers, fishermen instead place small notches in their tails and release them back into the ocean. That way if they are caught again even without eggs they can be easily identified as breeders. Breeders cannot be harvested or sold and will be safely returned to the sea. By giving them notches and releasing them back into their natural habitats, fishermen like Knowles are doing their part to preserve these incredible animals for future generations.

Lobster in tank

Female lobsters can carry up to 10,000 eggs per pound of body weight.


The Impact of Overfishing on Lobster Populations

The story of Knowles’ giant egg-carrying lobster is just one example of how overfishing can adversely affect species populations — including those of lobsters in the waters off Maine. Studies have shown that overfishing can lead to drastic changes in ecosystems by reducing species diversity and altering food webs beyond repair.

This also leads to reduced catches for fishermen like Knowles and fewer opportunities for future generations to enjoy fishing recreationally or commercially. It also affects communities that rely on fisheries as sources of employment or income through tourism and visitors who come to observe or fish themselves. Thus, it is important that we all do our part to protect marine life by practicing responsible fishing techniques such as those employed by Knowles when handling his incredible catch! 

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About the Author

Kellianne Matthews is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on anthrozoology, conservation, human-animal relationships, and animal behavior. Kellianne has been writing and researching animals for over ten years and has decades of hands-on experience working with a variety of different animals. She holds a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University, which she earned in 2017. A resident of Utah, Kellianne enjoys creating, exploring and learning new things, analyzing movies, caring for animals, and playing with her cats.

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