NEWS-_Robster_the_Lobster_1In honor of their late brother, two sisters released an 80-year-old, 11.5-pound lobster into Duxbury Bay on Thursday.

Fiona Morton and her sister Nina Walsh, along with Nina’s sons William and Matthew, arrived at Duxbury Bay Maritime School Thursday armed with a large cooler and life jackets. Inside the cooler sat a large lobster Fiona had bought at a fish market in her hometown in southern Ver- mont. Fiona drove down to Duxbury Thursday after spotting the lobster in a tank. Nina, a Duxbury resident, met up with her on the rainy afternoon to release the lobster.

Why release a giant lobster into Duxbury Bay? There’s a story behind it.

In 2001, Fiona and Nina’s father passed away. In 2002, the sisters traveled to Cadgwith, a fishing village in Cornwall, in southern England, for a family reunion to celebrate their father’s life. The reunion was held in Cornwall because the family had vacationed there for many years and had become attached to the village.

One afternoon the sisters and their brother, Robert, stopped to talk to a fisherman who was about to collect his lobster pots. The siblings asked if they could join him, and he obliged.

“In one of Nigel’s lobster pots was the largest lobster any of us had ever laid eyes on and we couldn’t believe its size,” Morton said. “I thought it was sad he had lived for 50 or 60 years and had now been caught, facing an inevitable fate. We talked about going back to the village to pay for him and release him, but we never did.”

NEWS-_RobsterLobster_1Two weeks ago, Morton was in her local fish store in Vermont when she spotted a large lobster.

“My mind immediately went back to our little boat trip in Cadgwith,” Morton said. “That has been on my mind ever since.”

This new lobster was larger than the one the family had met many years ago and Morton bought him on the spot and decided to release him into the ocean.

“It’s not often you get a second chance to do something you wished you’d done years before, so I knew immediately what I had to do,” she said.

Robert passed away last October after a battle with malignant melanoma. Morton named the lobster “Robster” in his memory. She then got in touch with her sister and together the two planned the release with DBMS. With the help of Alison Frey, a teacher at DBMS, the family traveled out to Gurnet Point, far away from the lobster pots, to set Robster free.

“This is our tribute to Robert,” Fiona said. “It just feels right.”

Typically, a one-pound lobster is about seven years old. According to this math, the 11.5-pound lobster is about 80 years old. Luckily, Fiona was told the lobster is so large

that it would be illegal to keep it if it’s found in any lobster pots.

“It was absolutely brilliant,” Fiona said. “It was a wonderful experience for us and a great way to honor Robert.”