“Free Louie” – Santino Pardons “Leviathan” Lobster to Celebrate National Lobster Month

It’s one small step for lobster, one giant scuttle for lobsterkind. In honor of National Lobster Month, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino has pardoned “Louie the Lobster,” thus returning the beloved 132 year-old crustacean to the peaceful waters from whence he came. The Supervisor held the waterside ceremony at Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park, accompanied by Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and the restaurant’s owner Butch Yamali.

“We cannot forget our township’s seafaring heritage,” said Santino. “It is with this in mind that I believe that by sparing Louie from a wedge of lemon and cup of melted butter, we are paying tribute to our nautical past.”

Following in the “clawsteps” of the famous “Larry the Lobster,” who was pardoned by the Supervisor last year, Louie presently resides in the fish tank at Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park. Santino freed the whopping 22-pound lobster from captivity by placing him in the hands of the Town of Hempstead Bay Constables who escorted him by boat to the waters of the Atlantic Beach Reef for a ceremonial release.

“You can’t live on Long Island without an earnest respect for the sea and its inhabitants,” said D’Esposito. “I admire the Supervisor’s notion of reverence to the waters that surround us.”

Peter’s Clam Bar, where Louie was the talk of the fish tank, offers a broad array of seafood dishes. From lobster rolls to lobster tacos, it was only a matter of time before Louie met his fate with the chef. Restaurant owner Butch Yamali called on Supervisor Santino for a ceremonial pardon and a proper send-off.

“The ocean sure beats a boiling pot,” said Yamali. “The residents of Island Park and frequenters of Peter’s Clam Bar will surely miss Louie the Lobster.”

Lobster harvesting is a major contributor to the nation’s $1.8 billion commercial fishing industry. The mightiest lobsters can grow to be four-feet in length, and weigh upwards of forty pounds. A lobster’s age is determined by counting growth rings hidden away in areas of the body including the stomach.

Three out of every four Americans say they enjoy a lobster dish at least once a month. Restaurant surveys indicate lobster is one of the most popular items on the menu, especially in the spring and summer. Peter’s Clam Bar purchases lobster and other seafood from local fisherman who ply Long Island’s waters in search of the freshest catch.

“While most of the nation celebrates this month with delightful culinary lobster dishes, Hempstead Town is proud to do something different,” concluded Santino. “Hopefully Louie will enjoy his newly found freedom and stick around our local waterways.”