Our tips for successful shellfish gathering
Plan your trip carefully
Shellfish gathering is a practice that’s intrinsically linked to the tides. It’s therefore essential to carefully check the tide times before heading to the beach. Ideally, you should begin gathering two hours before low tide and leave at low tide in order to avoid being cut off as the sea comes back in. It’s said that in la Manche, the tide comes in at the speed of a galloping horse, so be very careful, and even more so during the spring tides.
Tip: Pick a landmark on the coast to avoid going astray and regularly check the water level.
What equipment will you need and how do you use it?
You don’t need any specific equipment, but be careful to comply with regulations. As a minimum, you’ll need a bucket or a basket, a push net (or dip net) to gather prawns, and a gauge to measure the shellfish.
Our tips for sustainable shellfish gathering :
Mussels, oysters, winkles and whelks are often attached to rocks. You can simply detach them gently. For razor clams, look for the small characteristic holes and put some salt in them, which will make the razor clams emerge from the sand so that you can gather them. For cockles and clams, you need to look out for two small holes and a small squirt of water to find these molluscs. To protect this fragile environment, don’t use a rake.