In the pink: Rare albino lobster saved from pot

But when Lloyd Turner, a fisherman, discovered a rare white lobster among his catch 12 miles north-west of Alderney in the English Channel he realised he had a monster.

While it might have been smaller than the most famous Albino sea creature of all time - Moby Dick - the skipper of the fishing vessel Helen Claire knew it was worth preserving. Although the odds on winning the lottery jackpot are about 1 in 14 million, the chances of a lobster turning out to be an Albino are thought to be one in 100 million. They are the rarest and are the only ones that don't turn pink when cooked.

Mr Lloyd realised the find was significant and gave it to the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, Cornwall. "The white lobster is not a true Albino as it doesn't have pink or red eyes," said Dylan Taylor, the centre's manager. "A white lobster would be very visible to predators ... Considering we think she is aged between eight and 12 years old it is a surprise she is still alive."

Now safe, the latest addition to the Hatchery has produced a batch of eggs. They hatched, but "the larvae appear to be of a normal colour", said Mr Taylor. "Lobsters can live for more than 100 years so she is young enough to produce another batch of eggs that may include pale or white young lobsters."