Mechanical cockle fishery makes use of a suction dredging system that has been modified continuously in order to minimise damage to the product and by-catch. Further improvement to reduce sediment disturbance are promising but require a scientifically based technological approach. Improvement of the fishing gear and techniques is focused on the reduction of damage to the benthic environment, including sediment, benthos and juvenile cockles and aims for a better product quality (reduction of sand content and damage to the cockleshells). At present the main problem with technical improvement is the adjustment of the water jet in front of the gear and the transport of cockles on-board. The idea is to develop a more gentle flow and still achieve resuspension of cockles meanwhile minimising resuspension of sediment and biota, to develop a more gentle transport system to minimise sand content and damage to the cockle shells and to evaluate the yield as a function of effort.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts