ORONO — The University of Maine is calling attention to the blue economy conversation and its goal of providing global marine leadership with a light-hearted drive to go viral with a YouTube video promoting the safe handling and consumption of lobster. The featured University of Maine Cooperative Extension video has helped more than 1.8 million viewers safely boil, steam, grill and enjoy Maine’s most famous seafood.

Posted nearly a decade ago, the “Lobster Cooking and Eating” video is among the top 10 most-watched videos on the UMaine YouTube channel this month. Its 12,854 views in the last 30 days is outpacing other UMaine Extension fan favorites, such as  “Getting Strawberry Plants Ready for Winter,” “How Do I Prune Raspberries,” and “Tick Removal.” 

UMaine is releasing a new video that features UMaine Extension professor and food safety specialist Jason Bolton, one of the original stars of the “Lobster Cooking and Eating” video. The vintage, VHS-style video offers viewers a chance to win free Maine lobster for joining the blue economy conversation and helping UMaine push its video up over 2 million views. 

“Online clout has never been a goal of mine, but as an educator, I am happy to help people safely prepare and enjoy lobster,” says Bolton. “The blue economy is an important focus of conversation at UMaine and taking this video viral, in a good way, is a great way to invite people to take part.”

UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy welcomed more than 100 blue economy researchers, policymakers and stakeholders to a virtual discussion last week, hosted by the UMaine MARINE Initiative. The event highlighted the impact of UMaine’s 110 marine-oriented researchers, contributions to more than $75 million in global research projects, and 32 percent enrollment growth in the UMaine School of Marine Sciences.  

The UMaine MARINE Initiative strives to make Maine a global leader as a marine state. 

The free lobster contest includes a Facebook and Instagram promotion providing a chance to win free Maine lobster shipped anywhere in the United States and a second prize, for students at the University of Maine and its coastal campus, the University of Maine at Machias, to enjoy a lobster dinner with Bolton in Orono. Follow this link for contest rules at https://umaine.edu/lobstergiveaway/.