GET SHUCKED IN TO THE PEI OYSTER SOCIETY™ THIS AUGUST

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GET SHUCKED IN TO THE PEI OYSTER SOCIETY™ THIS AUGUST

Thirty-one local restaurants will serve up fresh shucked PEI oysters during the month of August so that Islanders and tourists can get ‘shucked in' to the PEI Oyster Society™.

The Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance, Fresh Media, and the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development have partnered to create a new culinary tradition that celebrates PEI oysters.

"The PEI oyster industry is an incredibly important sector to our economy,” said Ann Worth, Executive Director of the Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance. "We want this campaign to showcase the hardworking oyster harvesters who contribute significantly to our economy and rural communities."

The process of eating a fresh shucked oyster is one of the most unique culinary experiences anyone can have on Prince Edward Island. The partners behind the PEI Oyster Society™ hope that fresh PEI oysters become the culinary experience that defines the spirit of the Island.

“Our department is pleased to invest in this promotional campaign,” said Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development, Ron MacKinley. “It’s a great opportunity to encourage more people to eat our high-quality oysters, which are served in restaurants throughout North America and other parts of the world. The PEI Aquaculture Alliance is to be commended for this marketing initiative.”

The campaign, which starts on August 1st, 2012, centers on the creation of the PEI Oyster Society™ whose goal is to get Islanders and tourists to eat fresh shucked PEI oysters at the participating restaurants.

Prior to being ‘shucked in”, consumers will receive a membership card with the PEI Oyster Society Oath. They will recite The Oath before downing the oyster, which the campaign is branding as a "salty kiss". With the oyster eaten and the oath recited, people become bona fide members of the PEI Oyster Society™.

"Our goal is to create a new Island experience similar to being 'screeched in' ", said Melody Dover, the marketing agency behind PEI Oyster Society™ and also the popular PEI Burger Love campaign. "Eating a fresh shucked oyster creates such a memorable moment for people, we feel that it represents a fun rite of passage to being an Islander."

The oyster has a rich history on Prince Edward Island. Acadian settlers began fishing oysters in the late 1700s, and cultured oyster production began in the mid-1800s. Today, PEI oyster harvesters land more than 5 million pounds of oysters a year, at a value of nearly $6 million. They are sold in Quebec, Ontario, across the USA, and in other international markets. PEI oysters make up 60% of the Atlantic oysters produced in Canada.

Everyone who participates in the PEI Oyster Society campaign can tell their oyster tales online for a chance to win prizes such as restaurant gift certificates, hotel accommodations, free oysters, PEI International Shellfish Festival package, plus the grand prize, the North Cape Coastal Drive PEI Oyster Adventure.

"No matter if it's your first time, or if you are a longtime oyster eater, nothing captures the essence of our Island like the fresh shucked PEI Oyster,” added Ms. Worth. "We're so happy with the number of restaurants participating in the campaign, and we truly hope Islanders and tourists will come out to salute PEI Oysters with a salty kiss."

For more information on the PEI Oyster Society™, visit the campaign site at www.PEIOysterSociety.ca.

Ann Worth, Executive Director PEI Aquaculture Alliance 902-368-2757 ed@aquaculturepei.com

(Pictured L to R) Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Ron MacKinley, Phylis Carr, Carr's Oyster Bar and Ann Worth, Executive Director, Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance