Marine Molluscan Production Trends in France: From Fisheries to Aquaculture

Type Article
Date 1997
Language English
Author(s) Goulletquer PhilippeORCID, Heral Maurice
Source NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS (NOAA), 1997 , Vol. 129 , P. 137- 164
Abstract (NOT controlled OCR ) The main activity in French shellflshing is culturing. Most culture involves oysters, Grassostrea gigas, and Ostrea edulis; mussels, Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis; and to a lesser extent the scallop, Pecten maximus, and the exotic Manila clam, Tapes philippinarum. Wild species harvested include the whelk, Buccinum undatum; abalone, Haliotis tuberculata; and bivalves, such as the cockle, Cerasioderma edule, pectinids, Chlamys varia and Aequipecten opercularis; and several clams, e.g., Mercenaria mercenana and Venerupis rhomboïdes. Recreational landings are substantial. The flat oyster, 0. edulis, has been part of human diets for centuries. Natural beds were exploited through the Middle Ages until the last century by handpicking at low tide and by boat dredging. The effort led to overfishing, and between 1853 and 1859, a repletion program was initiated, mainly based on using wooden spat collectors, which marked the beginning of French oyster culture. In I860, a shortage of flat oysters led to the introduction of C. anguki/a. Oyster production increased to a record high of 85,000 t of C. angulata and 28,000 t of O. edulis in 1960, but diseases hit C. angulata and led to its disappearance. In 1972, G gigaswas introduced, spread rapidly by natural spatfall, and facilitated a fast industry recover)'. Oyster production now is 150,000 t of C. gigas and 2,000 t of O. edulis a year. Oysters often are deployed in ponds for fattening before marketing. M. edulis is produced on the Atlantic coast, while M. galloprovincialis is mainly produced on the Mediterranean coast. Currently, 1,613 km of bouchots are used to grow mussels, yielding 58,000 t/year; longlines yield 30,000 t; onbottom culture, 2,000-3,000 t, and the public fishery, 20,000 to 30,000 t. The native clams, Tapes decussatus and T. pullustra have been harvested. T. philippinarum was introduced and hatchery cultured; production peaked at 500 t, but the clam has colonized natural areas. The common scallop, P. maximus, and Mediterranean scallop, P. jacobaeus, are harvested by dredging. The whelk is fished with pots; landings are about 15,000 t/year. Abalones are harvested by hand at low tide or by diving. Cockle harvests total about 10,00 t/year. The entire shellflshing industry employs more than 20,000 permanent people and 30,000 part-time workers. Most shellfish are marketed fresh in the shell, but some species, e.g., clams and scallops, are marketed frozen.
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Goulletquer Philippe, Heral Maurice (1997). Marine Molluscan Production Trends in France: From Fisheries to Aquaculture. NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS, 129, 137- 164. Open Access version :