Name :


Scientific name :

Cerastoderma edule 

Size :

The maximum size is 4-5 cm.
The minimum authorized marketable size is 30 mm for fished cockles and 27 mm for cultured cockles

History: from the pioneers to present…

Cockles, which naturally occur along the French coasts from the Channel to the Mediterranean, is mainly fished.

Since the 1980s, cockle culture has been developing in Croisic Sound, which is the only cockle aquaculture site in France.

Culture techniques and production cycle

Spat of around 10 mm is mainly collected by dredging in Vilaine Bay.
The spat is then seeded from mid-September to mid-May at a density of 3-4 kg/m2.
Spat can also be naturally recruited from June to September during the cockle reproduction period.
The culture to marketing period is 10-15 months after seeding.
Cockles are harvested mechanically, so they can be graded at the collection sites.

Cockle production

Annual cockle yields range from 1200 to 2000 tons, and Croisic Sound is the second ranking cockle production site in France after Somme Bay (2000-7000 t fished).

Product value enhancement

Cockles are mainly consumed raw but they can also be processed (canned and prepared dishes)..

Cockle figures

(Source 2002 : Affaires Maritimes St. Nazaire)


hectares of cockle aquaculture in Croisic Sound


concessions allocated for cockle aquaculture


companies involved in this sector


million € in annual revenues generated

1 200

tons in cockle production

Strengths / Weaknesses



  • Fast growth (18 months)
  • Good yields: 1.5 kg harvested per kg seeded
  • Efficient use of the area
  • Well adapted mechanization, thus reducing labour.
  • Spat only recruited from the natural environment
  • Risk of massive summer mortality under adverse meteorological conditions