There is a reason Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea continues to fascinate readers. The fisherman, Santiago, embodies the frequent human urge to conquer nature as he battles for three days with an immense marlin caught on his line. But he also embodies the complicated emotion of regret once he has harpooned and killed one of the largest marlins his village has ever seen.
Thankfully, Tom Powers, an avid California freediver, anticipated a similar feeling of remorse earlier this week as he held an 11-pound lobster that he wrestled out of its cave in the Northern Channel Islands. Instead of giving way to the impulse to immediately conquer, kill, and make a legend of this immense beast, Tom decided that “the largest lobster he had ever seen” should live on and be enjoyed by all in the Enchanted Kelp Forest Exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
It’s worth noting the location where Tom caught the remarkable lobster — the one place in Southern California where a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) exist. Mere coincidence? Maybe.