The Nova Scotia Oyster Shucking Championship presented by Gahan House

The second Halifax Oyster Festival Shucking Competition presented by The Coast and partner Gahan House Halifax, hosted 30 competitors from all over Atlantic Canada. Amateurs and pros joined host Daniel Notkin on stage to provide an entertaining and rakus competition. Congratulations to Jean-Francois Daigle of Beausoleil Oysters the 2016 Halifax Oyster Festival Shucking Champion.


  • Participants qualify to compete at discretion of the committee
  • The committee reserves the right to grant special entry
  • Competition will take place on the festival main stage
  • Contestants will open and present 12 oysters on the half shell
  • Winner receives trophy and title of Nova Scotia Oyster Shucking Champion


  • All participants must arrive to the festival tent Saturday, September 30, 2017 and check-in at the shucking judging table at the front of the stage. Amateur shuckers 2pm, Pro shuckers, 7pm.
  • Application must be received by September 26th, 2017. Register Below.

Competition Details

Each Contestant Receives

  • Box of 14 choice grade oysters from which they will select their 12 competition oysters
  • Platter which to present oysters on, lined with coarse salt

What to Bring

  • Contestants supply their own hand wear, shucking knives, cutting board, and any other related equipment
  • Contestants may tape fingers/hands, wear gloves or any other protection desired
  • Contestants may use a towel or cloth to stabilize oyster
  • Contestants may carry one back up oyster shucking knife
  • All equipment must be approved by competition judges


  • Should be presentable in such a way that best represents the occasion and place of business you are competing for, the province and/or any sponsoring organization.


  • At the discretion of the judges and timekeepers
  • If contestant does not comply with the rules of the contest
  • If contestant distracts another competitor by vocal or physical interference
  • If contestant is deemed to have committed a flagrant or other impropriety


  • There will be three judges including a chief judge
  • Each shall have considerable experience and/or knowledge of half shell oyster service
  • There will be one chief timekeeper
  • Each contestant will have a separate timekeeper
  • Contestants will raise their oyster knives to head height to indicate readiness
  • At prompt from MC all contestants begin to shuck and timekeepers start their watches simultaneously
  • Competitors will be given box of 14 competition grade oysters and must open and present 12 oysters
  • Competitors must tap the table or raise hands overhead and step back when shucking is complete and oysters are presented to his/her satisfaction
  • The timekeeper will immediately stop the watch
  • Contestants may not touch tray of oysters after he/she has signaled completion

Penalties – to be determined by the three judges (per oyster)

  • 30sec = unpresented, meaning less or more than 12 oysters on the completed tray
  • 30sec = presented with blood on oyster meat
  • 10sec = not presented upright or meat out of shell
  • 10sec = presented on flat shell
  • 10sec = presented with a broken (in two pieces) under shell
  • 3sec = oyster is not completely severed from the shell (10sec/oyster if more than six)
  • 2sec = presented with shell grit, mud or other extraneous material
  • 2sec = presented with meat cut or mangled


  • Judges will provide the chief timekeeper with overall penalty scores
  • Chief timekeeper will add the penalties to the shucking time for each contestant to determine overall adjusted time
  • Overall score is determined by a combination of actual shucking time, shucked appearance, presence of shell, grit, broken shell cup, meat cut, etc.
  • The winner is found by overall adjusted lowest total seconds score and has not been disqualified
  • Master of Ceremonies will announce the results of the competition on the main stage

2015 Shucking Competition

2017 Shucking Competition Registration presented by Gahan House



For more information, contact us at 

2309 Maynard Street
Halifax, NS
B3K 3T8