Oyster Shucking Competition

This June celebrate our rivers and estuaries at the 2020 Piscataqua Riverfest Oyster Shucking Competition.  Not only will this competition bring out the best and fastest oyster shuckers, but we’ll also celebrate the local movement to restore oyster beds in Great Bay. Join us on the festival grounds at Strawbery Banke Museum on June 6th to watch local oyster shuckers go head to head for the title of Piscataqua Riverfest Oyster Shucker Extraordinaire.  Each competitor will compete by shucking 12 oysters, and the winning shucker from each heat moves on to the finals. 

$200 award for 1st Place

$100 for 2nd Place

When: 11:30

Where: Puddle Dock – Strawbery Banke Museum

Registration for competitors is $10, includes entry into the Piscataqua Riverfest and is limited to 12 participants. To register:

Complete Oyster Shucking Rules

  1.  Judges select oysters for the contestants and place them in a container.  Contestants will shuck 12 oysters. 
  2. The shucker removes the oyster from his/her container and arranges them for shucking.  Any shucker may appeal to the judges concerning any oyster they consider of improper quality for the contest.  The judge may use his/her discretion to substitute another oyster
  3. Each shucker is responsible to bring his/her own block and knife (must be approved by the judges)
  4. Shuckers may wear finger stalls or gloves
  5. Each shucker will have a separate timekeeper
  6. The shucker will poise with the knife at head level to indicate readiness
  7. At the start signal, all timekeepers simultaneously start their stopwatches and shuckers start their shucking
  8. Contestants place each oyster on an unbroken half-shell and arrange all neatly on the tray.  Oysters should be whole, uncut, and free from soil
  9. When a contestant has completed shucking and has arranged the oysters to his/her satisfaction, he/she will raise both hands overhead and step back from the shucking table.  The timekeeper will immediately stop the watch.  A shucker may not touch the tray of oysters after he/she has signaled completion.
  10. Timers will deliver the trays to the judge’s tables
    1. An oyster not completely severed from its shell –  ADD 3 Seconds
    1. An oyster presented with grit, or foreign substance in flesh – ADD 3 Seconds
    1. An oyster cut – ADD 2 seconds
    1. A missing Oyster  –  ADD 20 seconds
  12. Each timekeeper reports the shucking time in seconds and the judge reports the penalties.  The timekeepers record the score on the data sheets and the contest board.  The winner in each heat has the LOWEST score.