Galway Atlantaquaria is currently caring for an extremely rare Slipper Lobster found off the Chonamara coast near the Aran Islands recently. This is the first recorded landing of this species this far into the Atlantic north. Over the last decade there has been a couple of reports of the species being caught off Kerry and a pregnant Slipper lobster was landed off Cork in 2007.
This Slipper Lobster was landed by Skipper John Connolly of the 'Connacht Ranger' from Kilronan on Inis Mor, and landed into Ros a Mhil. The Skipper knew he had landed something rare and so he contacted the Marine Institute to report his find.
Turloch Smith (FEAS) of the Marine Institute identified it as the Slipper Lobster. Turloch then contacted the Galway Atlantaquaria who is now caring for the 72mm exotic lobster that has been named 'Tréan'.
"My nieces and nephews were very excited about the Slipper Lobster, and named it Tréan, which is an old Irish word for hardy and brave and usually associated with warriors. The fact it was so small, came so far north, and survived being towed up in a big net full of spurdogs, stones and prawns does make the name seem pretty apt" said Mr Connolly.
Turloch Smith from the Marine Institute said: "I was so surprised to identify the species landed in Ros a Mhil as the Slipper Lobster. The Slipper Lobster Scyllarus arctus species is distributed throughout the Mediterranean, and is found bottom dwelling on the continental shelf eating food like oysters and molluscs".
Galway Atlantaquaria placed the Slipper Lobster into quarantine, and assigned an aquarist responsibility for its care. After a week of isolation and intensive screening the Slipper Lobster was introduced into the Aquarium and is progressing well.