When it comes to food companies selling lobsters it's a case of the redder the better, so the discovery by Australian marine science student Nick Wade of the protein responsible for forming shell colour in the Western Rock Lobster could lead to important developments in the seafood industry.

The next step would be to create a food supplement to reverse the colour loss in some 'white' lobsters and meet the demand for the blushing red shell. White lobsters fetch significantly lower prices than reds on the international market. The industry claims it costs them millions of dollars a year.

Wade's research may also be useful for enhancing the shell colour of farmed lobsters or any crustacean in need of cosmetic dressing up for market.