The Scottish Oyster Shucking Championship returns after two year break

Tristan Hugh-Jones competes in the 2019 ShuckOff
Katharine Johnston

Stranraer Oyster Festival is inviting contenders to battle it out for the title of Scotland’s Shucking Champion. Taking place on Saturday 3rd September 2022 at the popular Festival, the Scottish Shucking Championships returns after a two year Covid-enforced break.

Festival goers will be able to cheer on hopefuls competing to world standards as they battle it out through fast paced heats before the finalists shuck it out to win the title.

Open to Scottish chefs, seafood professionals and hospitality students, the winner will be crowned the Scottish Shucking Champion and will go on to represent Scotland in the World Championships at Galway International Oyster Festival, on an all-expenses paid trip in late September.

The current Scottish Champion, Tristan Hugh-Jones of Loch Ryan Oyster Fishery, will be compering the event and has offered some training at the festival help competitors perfect their shuck.

Tristan said:

“It’s fantastic to see the ShuckOff make a return to Stranraer Oyster Festival and I’m thrilled to be hosting the event this year. It was a real honour to win Championship in 2019, and represent Scotland at the Internationals in Galway, and this year I very much look forward to seeing some stiff competition, and some beautifully opened oysters!”

The ShuckOff will be judged by shellfish experts David Jarrad and Janet Brown. David Jarrad is Chief Executive of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, an organisation representing the entire shellfish supply chain. David is an experienced oyster opening expert, having owned oyster farms and run a mobile oyster bar opening thousands of oysters at events and festivals.  He has been a judge at the British Oyster Opening Championship for over a decade.

Janet Brown has championed shellfish for decades, from research work on giant clams in the South China Sea to her current role as Editor of ‘The Grower’, the newsletter of the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers.  Much of her working life has been spent in the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling where she ran the shellfish unit.

Oyster shucking (or opening) championships are a popular feature of oyster and seafood festivals around the world. Each competitor is required to open 30 oysters in under three minutes, and points are awarded for the speed of opening plus the presentation of the tray of opened oysters. The test for the judges is how attractive the tray would look for a customer in a hotel or restaurant.

The Scottish Oyster Shucking Championships will take place on Saturday 3rd September from 12.30pm – 2pm at the Stranraer Oyster Festival.

If you are a chef or professional in the seafood sector and are interested in competing in the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championships, email Allana Hardie at .

Stranraer Oyster Festival takes place from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September in Stranraer, south west Scotland. Tickets cost £5 per day or £10 for the full three-day event for over 16s, with concessions available. 16s and under can attend free of charge.

Stranraer Oyster Festival marks the opening of the British native oyster season. To avoid the breeding season, native oysters in the UK are traditionally harvested only during months with an ‘R’ in the name. 

The festival programme includes demonstrations and events by celebrity chefs Clodagh McKenna and Tony Singh, live music, extreme pond dipping, an artisan market, the Big Oyster Bash, children’s entertainment, a massive oyster bar and a spectacular firework display over Loch Ryan, home of Scotland’s last wild, native oyster fishery. For tickets and information visit .

The festival is sponsored by Ascensos and is supported through EventScotland’s National Events Funding Programme and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Events Strategic Fund. The Scottish Shucking Championship is sponsored by Seafood Scotland, the national trade and marketing body for the Scottish Seafood Industry.