The sandy foreshore

A sensible approach to gathering shellfish on a sandy foreshore...

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Caption: Green: rocky foreshore - Purple: silty foreshore - Orange: sandy foreshore - Red symbol: fish lock / "écluse" - Red: forbidden area.

 

These advices don't undertake the liabilty of the association.

Ministry of the sea map showing local shellfish collecting rules -

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Advice for Shellfish collection

  • Always check the tide times and range before going on to the reef (range between 20-120)
  • Always wear sensible closed, waterproof shoes or boots to avoid cutting your feet on the sharp reef
  • Always be aware of the current weather conditions and dress appropriately
  • Never go fishing alone and always tell someone where you are going
  • Never fish more than your real needs
  • Never dig ground
  • Don't throw anything in to the sea
  • Keep an eye on the rising tide, wich could become a danger

Rules for Shellfish collection

  • Always respect the minimum collection size of various shellfish (marked by red pointers on the pictures of shells below)   and do not gather more than 5 kgs shellfish irrespective of variety.
  • Only go fishing on the reef during daylight
  • Only collect shellfish more than 25 meters from any granted marine breeding field like an "écluse" * or an oysters or mussels farming field.It is forbidden to fish inside " les écluses".
  • Only fish using the permitted tools (knife of a 30 cm maximum length handle, non wire-netted rake of a 80 cm maximum length handle, pick of a 4 cm maximum width, carpet shell claw)
  • Be aware of forbidden marine activities zones, including channels, protected beaches, harbours, natural reserves like the Moëze-Oléron Reserve, and some other potentially contaminated areas
  • It is forbidden to sell your shellfish harvest

*Definition:

  Ecluse: A manmade wall usually built on a reef to trap fish at the lowering tide. A traditional way of fishing dating from Middle Ages.

  

Official constraints on sandy leisure shellfish collection

19th of november 2019 : Official temporary leasure shellfish collection reservation bylaw on non-burrowing shells into the 17.08 zone

'Ouest du Pertuis d'Antioche' due to a microbiological contamination linked to the mussels from the Charente Maritime department.

Their consumption needs a prior water purifying in an agreed establishment to let them fit for consumption.

What to shellfish ?

Shells ...

 

For more information click on the pictures below to access the free Wikipedia encyclopedia website

 

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Banded wedge shell

 

Minimum size: 2,5 cm

Maximum quantity : From january 1st 2018, 2 kg each shellfisher and tidal are authorized.

 

Shellfish tip: Scrape the sand at the low tide mark as the sea descends. Be aware that decent sized examples of these shellfish are not found in great quantities these days due to previous overfishing. Don't forget to leave the shells to disgorge in sea water for a few hours before eating them, to get rid of any sand.

 

Scientific name: Donax Vittatus

 

Vernacular French name: Donace / Telline / Luisette

 

Prohibited burrowing shells gathering area : Gathering Carpet shell, Cockle, Razor shell and Banded wedge shell is prohibited beyond the western mouth of the River Seudre, in the southern part of the Coureau d'Oléron, so as beyond the northerly coast of the Chevanceaux headland in the Ré island.

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Common cockle

 

Minimum size: 2,7 cm

Maximum quantity : From january 1st 2018, 2 kg each shellfisher and tidal are authorized.

 

Shellfish tip: The Common cockle lives in sandy or silty-sandy areas. To catch it, look for two little holes close together on the surface of the mud (these allow two siphons to oxygenate the shell during low tide). Don't forget to leave the shells to disgorge in sea water for a few hours before eating them, to get rid of any sand or silt.

 

Scientific name: Cerastoderma edule

 

Vernacular French name: Coque / Sourdon

 

Prohibited burrowing shells gathering area ; Gathering Carpet shell, Cockle, Razor shell and Banded wedge shell is prohibited beyond the western mouth of the River Seudre, in the southern part of the Coureau d'Oléron, so as beyond the northerly coast of the Chevanceaux headland in the Ré island.

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European Carpet shell

 

Minimum size: 4 cm

Maximum quantity : From january 1st 2018, 200 pieces each shellfisher and tidal are authorized.

 

Shellfish tip:  The Carpet shell lives in sandy or silty-sandy areas. To catch it,  look for two little holes close together on the surface of the mud (these allow two siphons to oxygenate the shell during low tide). Don't forget to leave the shells to disgorge in sea water for a few hours before eating them, to get rid of any sand or silt. The European carpet shell is quite wide-spread unlike the Japanese Carpet shell which has to be bred here. The Japanese Carpet shell is an introduced species which tends to take over at the expense of the native European species. The hinge of the European Carpet shell is not as prominent as  the Japanese one. The inner valves of the European Carpet shell are not purple spotted.

 

Scientific name: Ruditapes deccussatus

 

Vernacular French name: Palourde européenne

 

Prohibited burrowing shells gathering area : Gathering Carpet shell, Cockle, Razor shell and Banded wedge shell is prohibited beyond the western mouth of the River Seudre, in the southern part of the Coureau d'Oléron, so as beyond the northerly coast of the Chevanceaux headland in the Ré island.

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Japanese Carpet shell

 

Minimum size: 3,5 cm

Maximum quantity : From january 1st 2018, 200 pieces each shellfisher and tidal are authorized.

 

Shellfishy tip: The Japanese carpet shell lives in sandy or silty-sandy areas. To catch it, look for two little holes close together on the surface of mud (these allow two siphons to oxygenate the shell during low tide). Don't forget to leave the shells to disgorge in sea water for a few hours before eating them, to get rid of any sand or silt. The Japanese carpet shell has to be bred here, unlike the European carpet shell which is quite wide-spread. The Japanese carpet shell is an introduced species which tends to take over at the expense of the native European species. The hinge of the Japanese carpet shell is quite prominent unlike the European one. The inner valves of the Japanese carpet shell are purple spotted.

 

Scientific name: Ruditapes philippinarum

 

Vernacular French name:  Palourde japonaise

 

Prohibited burrowing shells gathering area : Gathering Carpet shell, Cockle, Razor shell and Banded wedge shell is prohibited beyond the western mouth of the River Seudre, in the southern part of the Coureau d'Oléron, so as beyond the northerly coast of the Chevanceaux headland in the Ré island.

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Razor shell

 

Minimum size: 10 cm

 

Shellfish tip: The Razor shell digs 2 little holes side by side, which looks like a number 8 on the surface. By putting  salt into these holes, the Razor shell feels in a wrong way that the tide is coming back up, so it resurfaces making it easier to catch. Razor shells are caught during  the biggest tides.

 

Scientific name: Ensis / Solen marginatus, Ensis siliqua, Pharus legumen

 

Vernacular French name: Couteau / Coutelet

 

Prohibited burrowing shells gathering area : Gathering Carpet shell, Cockle, Razor shell and Banded wedge shell is prohibited beyond the western mouth of the River Seudre, in the southern part of the Coureau d'Oléron, so as beyond the northerly coast of the Chevanceaux headland in the Ré island.

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Venus shell

 

Minimum size: 4,30 cm

Maximum quantity : From january 1st 2018, 3 kg each shellfisher and tidal are authorized.

 

Shellfish tip: It can be caught in large grained sand.

 

Scientific name: Venus verrucosa

 

Vernacular French name: Praire

 

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Sand gaper

 

Minimum size: No regulatory minimum size

 

Shellfish tip: Found during the biggest low tides. The Sand gaper tends to live deep in the sand.

 

Scientific name: Mya arenaria

 

Vernacular French name: Mye des sables / Bec de jar

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Otter shell

 

Minimum size: No regulatory minimum size

 

Shellfish tip:  Found during the biggest low tides. The Otter shell tends to live deep in the sand.

 

Scientific name: Lutraria lutraria

 

Vernacular French name: Lutraire

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