Co-Operation for Restoring CocKle SheLlfisheries and its Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Area

Co-Operation for Restoring CocKle SheLlfisheries and its Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Area



COCKLES provide a wealth of services to coastal communities in the Atlantic Area (AA). COCKLES will restore production and the services provided by this emblematic resource, threatened by disease outbreaks and suboptimal management. Developing aquaculture, resistant strains and recovering natural stocks, optimizing management and upskilling stakeholders will aid recovering resources, increase the understanding of ecosystem services and contribute to the GES and boost coastal economies of AA. Cockles provide meaningful environmental, societal, cultural as well as economic benefits to coastal communities in ES, PT, FR, IE, and UK, but are threatened by disease and sub-optimal management. This project will restore and increase cockle production and the services it provides in the Atlantic Area, using the following objectives: 1. To assess the health, diversity and interrelationships of cockle populations across the AA by characterizing population dynamics, genetic diversity and larval transport, threats from disease, pollution, invasive species and climate; 2. To quantify the wider economic, societal and cultural benefits from ecosystem services provided by cockles (fishery, aquaculture, biodiversity, food for birds, tourism, cultural services), by surveys, interviews and socio-economic analysis; 3. To provide new techniques for cockle management by developing new technology and procedures for cockle bed restoration, hatchery technology for seed production, selective breeding programmes to produce disease-resistant and fast growing strains, and conservation of genetic structure/diversity; 4. To provide guidance on best practice for producers, administrations, environmental agencies, and NGOs, by evaluating and sharing best practice across the AA and optimizing management through mutual learning. This will result in improved cockle production, a strong, viable and sustainable industry, with recognized societal and biodiversity benefits.


Belem statement areas
Ocean Observation
Time frame
2017 - 2020


Rosa Fernandez
Centro Tecnológico del Mar