The first Bonthe Oyster Festival was held in May 2017. The festival brought together oyster harvesters from the Sherbro area to celebrate and promote the 'Sherbro Oyster' brand. Participants took part in a recipe competition, promoting alternative ways of preparing the oysters, and tested novel ways of presenting the products. The festival tested the idea of a women's marketing cooperative to coordinate harvesting efforts and add value to the Sherbro Oyster brand. They were joined by the Try Women's Oyster Harvesting Association, a similar organisation set up with the aims of safeguarding their resource and upgrading their product, and have several years of experience of doing so.
The festival was sponsored by the council and Radio Bontico, the local station.
Speaking to Radio Bontico
Project PI Dr Francis Murray and Co-I Dr Richard Wadsworth speak to Radio Bontico about the 2017 Bonthe Oyster Festival, what it involves and its importance for the residents of the Bonthe Municipality.
Bonthe Oyster Festival, May 2018
We are pleased to announce that Whitstable Oyster Company will sponsor the Bonthe Oyster Festival for 2018-2022! This funding will allow us to continue working with the Sherbro Estuary community to create a 'Sherbro Oyster' brand and increase the income that these shellfish bring the harvesters. Through these festivals and other work carried out by University of Stirling staff and PhD student, we will help to build a women's marketing cooperative to promote these oysters.
The 2018 Bonthe Oyster Festival will be held in the second week of May - dates TBC. Further details of the 2018 festival will be finalised soon - keep an eye out here!