Enjoy Fresh Lobster from The Cedars at Foxwoods Casino's new LED lit Lobster Tank.....Visit Beautiful Sunken Meadow State Park, Long Island, NY and spend time with Marine Educator Sara Kulins Mobile Touch Tank or Visit Harvard University's Museum of Natural History or Columbus State University of Georgia's ELC Touch Tanks,,,,, or Experience New York Aquarium's new Educational Touch Tank....... The Prestigious Six Hundred Year Old University of St. Andrews in Scotland, now has a brand new Educational Touch Tank for their MASTS program.....And so the University of California, Berkeley Intergrative Biology Department....... And Congratulations to visionary Brenda Ramer of Team Ecco and all the wonderful folks in Henderonsonville, NC on thier newly acquired educational Touch Tank exhibit......At Portland, Maine Jetport Terminal relax at Linda Bean's Lobster Cafe ................Enjoy a yummy lobster roll or have super Fresh Maine Lobsters packed to bring back to loved ones........................And check out our Educational Marine Touch Tank................Linda's Touch Tank is dedicated to advancing Science Education in America's schools....................Catch some rays and delicious lobster at Boston's on the Beach at Delray Beach, Florida..............Or in Tallahasee, Florida, shop the freshest Maine Lobster at Southern Seafood............ Enjoy Lobster at the Carribean Five Star Buccament Bay Resort, at St. Vincent's Island...........In The Old Port Tavern, Portland, Maine. Have a cold brew with friends and enjoy their new and absolutely beautiful Reef Aquariums........................Wherever your travels lead you, may you be Happy and Safe!
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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Arcade Claw Offers Live Lobster Prizes

SCARBOROUGH, Maine, Feb. 6, 2006

(AP) You don't have to be a fisherman to catch lobsters anymore. At a neighborhood store in this Portland suburb _ and at restaurants and bars in more than a dozen states _ customers can plunk down $2 for a chance to catch their very own lobster using a mechanical claw in an arcade-style game.

The apparatus is a new version of the old-style amusement game where players put in a quarter or two in hopes of grabbing a stuffed animal. But instead of plush toys, the Love Maine Lobster Claw game has a water-filled tank full of lobsters.

When a lobster is caught, the restaurants cook it for free and serve it with side dishes.

"He looks like a keeper," said Frank Margel of Westbrook, eyeing a mottled-green crustacean at Eight Corners Market before giving the game a try.

It's easier said than done, however.

Unlike stationary stuffed animals, the lobsters flap their tails, flail their claws and squirm this way and that, making them elusive prey.

"Those lobsters are lively. They're ready for competition," Margel said a minute later _ and $2 poorer _ after the crustacean slipped away.

Marine Ecological Habitats in Biddeford has been making the Love Maine Lobster game for just over a year and sold a couple of dozen, said Joe Zucchero, the company president.

The Maine-made machines can be found in restaurants and bars in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Maine, Zucchero said. A Florida company, The Lobster Zone Inc., makes a similar machine that it says can be found in more than 20 states.

The game has its critics. Animal rights activists contend it's cruel to toss a lobster into a boiling pot of water. And playing with the creatures before sending them to their deaths rubs some people the wrong way.

"Turning animal cruelty into a game is absolutely hideous," said Karin Robertson of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

A restaurant in Pittsburgh removed its lobster game last week in response to PETA's campaign against the machines.

Paul Carrozzi, owner of Roland's Seafood Grill, said he doesn't agree the machine is inhumane, but removed it after receiving threatening e-mails and calls. "It just wasn't worth it," he said.

Zucchero maintains that the machine has a gentle claw that won't hurt the animals.

"If it did," he said, "we'd have problems because then it would be destroying our inventory."

At Eight Corners Market, customers typically play the game 25 to 30 times a day and catch about eight or so lobsters a week, said store owner Peter Walsh, who also plans to sell lobsters out of the tank.

When the game's in play, it usually draws a crowd. A lighthouse-style beacon flashes on top of the machine when somebody catches a lobster.

"If somebody's playing this game and someone else walks in the store, I guarantee they'll play because they'll see how fun it is," Walsh said.

In Louisiana, Bill Bodin owns two of the machines, which he placed in seafood and Mexican restaurants in Lafayette. The machines do a brisk business, he said, especially when there are lines and people are looking for something to do _ or for their kids to do _ while waiting for a table.

At Eight Corners Market, Margel gets 30 seconds to catch a lobster for $2. Or he can get three plays for $5 or seven plays for $10.

Working a joystick and a pair of buttons, Margel lowers the claw, clamps it around the lobster and attempts to lift it out of the water. But the lobster fights back and escapes before he can deposit it in an opening and down a chute into his possession.

Margel leaves empty-handed, but he had good time.

"Who cares if you get a lobster for two bucks?" he said.


(AP)
 
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