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Common cockle

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Green
Second choice
Avoid
Bycatch
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General

Common cockle

The common cockle is a bivalve that can be found in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean. In the Netherlands, this species can be found in the Eastern Scheldt and the Wadden Sea. The common cockle lives buried in the seabed with only its two siphons protruding above the sand. One siphon is used to suck in water and nutrients. The other siphon is used to excrete water and excess nutrientsThe ideal habitat for the common cockle is the intertidal zonethe zone which falls dry at low tide 

 

Common cockle

Cerastoderma edule
Origin

Europe, inland waters
Deelgebieden: Oosterschelde

Farming- / Catch method

Handdredge

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Explanation assessment

In the Wadden Sea and in the Oosterschelde, common cockles are harvested by hand, by means of a [hand dredge]. This is a kind of rake with a net attached to it, that is pulled through the upper layer of the seabed by hand. The fishermen work at low tide on sandflats. The yearly yield of this method is 300 to 600 tons of cockle meat. The yearly maximum that may be caught in the Wadden Sea is 2.5% of the harvestable stock. In the Oosterschelde there is an ecological food reservation limit of 5000 tons. This may not be fished but is food for birds and fish. In 2012 the Dutch hand caught cockle fishery became MSC-certifiedMSC Certified:
Fisheries that comply with the Marine Stewardship Council assessment criteria and are certified. Fish products with the blue MSC label are caught by sustainable fisheries.
.

 

Common cockle

Cerastoderma edule
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Handdredge

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
of common cockle fluctuates naturally very strongly. Because cockles are an important food source for birds and fish, the catch needs to be adjusted for the stock dynamics and food needs of other species in the ecosystem. Fishery is done with [hand dredges]. This is an extensive harvesting method that mainly is done on a small scale. This fishery is not associated with irreversible environmental damage. The catch of common cockles is regulated locally by means of permits, catch restrictions and [closed areas] and/or seasons. This regulation does not succeed everywhere, which causes the [fishing pressure] on a stock to rise to up to 36% of the total stock.

 

Common cockle

Cerastoderma edule
Origin

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Mechanic dredges

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
of common cockle fluctuates naturally very strongly. Because cockles are an important food source for birds and fish, the catch needs to be adjusted for the stock dynamics and food needs of other species in the ecosystem.

This fishery uses a mechanised dredge: the “suction trawl”. This fishing method has a large impact on the environment. Intensive fishing with the suction trawl leads on the long term to a change in the species composition. This method also has often high bycatch rates. A part of the bycatch is released back into the sea (discardsDiscards:
Unwanted by-catch, which is thrown back because there is no quota, the market price is too low, or the fish is below the legal minimum landing size. Discards can be alive or dead.
), but does not survive this.

The catch of common cockles is regulated locally by means of permits, catch restrictions and [closed areas] and/or seasons. This regulation does not succeed everywhere, which causes the [fishing pressure] on a stock to rise to up to 36% of the total stock.

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.

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