Adding a new meaning to "lobster pot"

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A lobster named Roscoe was the first to experience a technique lobster pound owner Charlotte Gill is hoping will be more humane way of executing lobsters.

In an experiment to test the affect of cannabis on lobsters, Roscoe the lobster was placed for a few minutes in a covered box with about two inches of water at the bottom. Marijuana smoke was then blown into the water at the bottom of the box.

Gill’s hypothesis is that the treatment sedates the animals and could make their deaths less traumatic.

“I feel bad that when lobsters come here there is no exit strategy,” said Gill, who has owned Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound for seven years. “It’s a unique place and you get to do such unique things but at the expense of this little creature. I’ve really been trying to figure out how to make it better.”

Following the experiment, Roscoe’s claw bands were removed and kept off for nearly three weeks.

His mood seemed to have an impact on the other lobsters in the tank, she said, and he never again wielded his claws as weapons. Earlier this week, Roscoe was returned to the ocean as a thank you for being the experimental crustacean.

“Robert Bayer, the executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, said he’d never heard of someone using cannabis to sedate a lobster, but he’s not particularly surprised someone would try.

“I’m not aware of any actual studies on this and haven’t done any myself, though it sounds interesting,” he said.

…It’s also not clear if marijuana or any sedative would make a lobster’s death less traumatic, Bayer said, because lobsters have a nervous system that is primitive and similar to that of an insect. “When you put them in boiling water, the primitive nervous system that does exist is destroyed so quickly they’re unlikely to feel anything at all,” he said.

Hmm, let’s see here.

Hypocrisy: self-proclaimed animal rights person makes her living selling lobsters (and fish, and clams, presumably, what about them?) to tourists.

Scientific ignorance: if a lobster falls into boiling water, does it feel pain? Real scientist says no.

Evidence of too early and too frequent exposure to Disney cartoons: “The Little Princess” was not intended to be a documentary.

What’s most worrisome about this story is that Charlotte Gill (appropriate name for a fish monger) is probably a high school graduate and, if, as I suspect, a native of Massachusetts, graduated from college, and she is entitled to vote.

Cry, our once-beloved country.