More information


Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
Informatie over vissoort
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Shellfish is a culinary term that is often used for several species of molluscs, gastropods, bivalves and arthropods. Some examples are the St. James shell, mussels, razor clams, oysters, cockles and whelks. Most shellfish live partly or fully buried into the seabed, mostly in sandy or gravelly bottoms. They feed by filtering nutrients out of the water. Seed and eggs are released into the water and fertilized externally. Most shellfish are hermaphroditic, they can be both male and female. There are many different shellfish species in the North Sea that are very much suitable for consumption. Fishing methods on shellfish include hand-picking, dredging or mechanic dredges (suckers).



The whelk is a large, edible sea snail. This species is very common in the North Atlantic Ocean, some Arctic islands and North America. This species is particularly common along the coasts of north-western Europe. Empty egg capsules  of whelks are often found washed up on beaches. The whelk lives at depths up to 100 m. They are scavengers and have a carnivorous diet. Whelk is a true delicacy in Normandy and Britanny. The whelks are cooked and used in a starter with mayonaise. It is also a frequently used seafood in fruit des mer.



Buccinum undatum

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Trawls, Pots and traps

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

The state of the stock of whelk is at most places unknown, but they are locally overfished. Whelks grow slowly and can get old, which makes them vulnerable to fishing pressure. There is no overarching fishery management for whelk and there are no catch limits.


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.


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


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


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

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