The friends offered to buy the lobster's freedom for $300.
Even a seasoned seafood purveyor like Melluso admits to getting a little emotional about it all.
"My whole life's been about fish and seafood," Melluso told the Herald. "I'm happiest when I have a knife in my hand and fish filleted."
"At first, when I heard there were organizations involved, I was like, 'Ah, that's so silly,'" he added. "Then, I was like, 'They're looking to protect and serve the species in a responsible way. I should be thinking like that.'"