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Buddhists Free Lobsters Off Gloucester, Lobstermen Recapture Them

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Lobster Liberation (Photo Credit: Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies)

Lobster Liberation (Photo Credit: Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies)

GLOUCESTER (CBS) – Do you believe in Karma? Some local lobstermen were either the beneficiaries of good Karma or they were testing Karma’s hands.

Last week, 534 lobsters got a second chance at life, thanks to a group of Tibetan Buddhists. But that freedom turned out to be short-lived.

The group purchased the lobsters from a local seafood wholesaler, took them out on a whale-watching boat, blessed the crustaceans and set them free.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

They chose the Tibetan holiday Wheel Turning Day, a day where Karma for positive actions is multiplied many times over.

Wendy Cook, a yoga instructor and former director at the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies in Medford was on the expedition.

She told WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez that it wouldn’t even matter if the lobsters were recaptured.

“Even if they get captured again, they’ve had a longer life,” she said.

The blog Good Morning Gloucester says the crew of the Gloucester-based Degelyse benefited from that good deed.

They received the coordinates of where the lobsters were released, then went out “and caught exactly 534 lobsters, the precise number the monks released” the next day.

The crew “would like to personally thank the Buddhist Monks who released (the) lobsters,” the blog post read.

“Thank you and come again next year Mr. Buddhist monks, we would like to invite you back again and again to purchase our lobsters and ‘restock the pond.’”

The blogger, who was not a crew member, did clarify an obvious fact to WBZ-TV; the likelihood that the fishermen caught the same lobsters that were released is little to none. He also noted that the crew spends long grueling days and weeks at a time on the high seas and that their tongue-in-cheek video was an attempt to have a little fun and pass the time.

The video, posted on YouTube, was met with mixed emotions.

In a Facebook post by members of the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, the fishermen were referred to as “acting out of delusion, ignorance and self-cherishing, and creating heavy negative karma in the process.”

However, in a post on YouTube from a person claiming to be one of the organizers of the lobster liberation event, argued that the lobstermen were the beneficiaries of the lobsters’ good karma.

“This is the lobster’s karma, and it is all the more reason to rejoice in the positive imprints we were able to offer them.”

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez contributed to this report

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