The silty foreshore

A sensible approach to gathering shellfish on a silty 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 boots or shoes 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
  • Avoid fishing more than your real needs
  • Never dig ground
  • Don't throw anything in to the sea
  • Keep an eye on the rising tide, which 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 silty 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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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. In a way, this last one 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.

 

Shellfish 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 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 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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Japanese oyster

 

Minimum size: 5 cm

 

Shellfish tip: We can only find left overs from oysters breeding parks. The Japanese oysters can only be fished at more than 25 meters from these cultivating areas.

 

Scientific name: Crassostrea gigas

 

Vernacular French name: Huître creuse / Huître japonaise

 

Listed natural oystersfields :  Contact the local authorities. By the 6th of september 2016 Official Region bylaw, gathering Japanese oysters (Crassotrea gigas) and Flat or native oysters ( Ostrea edulis) can be achieved only on the Jamblet and Tridoux fields (Aix island), the Palles and Toureau ones, the Lauzières field, the La Menoise field (Angoulins) from february 1st to november 30th each year. It can be achieved too on the Chauveau field from february 1st to may 15th each year. It must be done between sunrise and sunset. This handgathering can also be done thanks to a 4 cm maximum width pick. Up to 5 kgs each per tide, gathering oysters must be done further than 25 m from any marine breeding field. Only armcarrying back.

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Common cockle

 

Minimum size: 2,7 cm

Maximum quantity : From january 1st 2018, 2 kgs 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

 

Vernaclar 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.

Crustaceans...

 

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

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Brown Shrimp

 

Minimum size: 3 cm

 

Shellfish tip: The living shrimp appears transparent. Its minimum size is measured from the rostrum to the end of the tail. It can be caught in estuaries during final ebb of water at low tide.

 

Scientific name:  Crangon crangon

 

Vernacular French name: Crevette grise

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