Clam and cockle fisheries certified

05 Jun 2013
Carpet shell clam (Venerupis decussate). Credit: Cwmhiraeth/CC-BY-SA-3.0

Carpet shell clam (Venerupis decussate). Credit: Cwmhiraeth/CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Spanish Ría de Arosa Galician Cooperative Society has been awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for its artisanal clam and cockle fisheries.

The sustainability certificate has been awarded to the cooperative’s grooved carpet shell clam, pullet carpet shell clam, Manila clamand cocklefisheries.

The cooperative, based out of Boiro (Abanqueiro, La Coruña), has more than 400 members, and applied for assessment in 2009.

The cooperative harvests some 20 metric tonnes of seafood per year, working from boats or on the shore. Clam fishing boats are about 5m long and fishers use a long-handled rake known as the vara larga, with teeth that are far enough apart to ensure that no clams below the legal minimum size are caught.

When fishing from the shore, fishers work in areas that have previously been marked off, using a type of rake known as the sacho. The harvest is graded on the shore, and special attention is paid to minimum sizes.

Both methods of harvesting are consistently monitored and classified.

The cooperative has also invested in a clam breeding cage, with the aim of improving fishery conditions.

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Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

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