TITLE



EN
Co-Operation for Restoring CocKle SheLlfisheries and its Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Area (AA)
ES
Cooperación para recuperar las pesquerías de berberecho y sus servicios de ecosistema en el AA
FR
Coopération pour la restauration des pêcheries de coques et de leurs services d'écosystème dans l’AA
PT
Cooperação para a recuperação das pescarias de berbigão e os seus serviços de ecossistema na AA


PROJECT IDENTIFICATION



Programme

INTERREG ATLANTIC

Execution Dates

2017.10.01 – 2020.09.30

Funding Entity

EU

Total Funding

3,613,017.54 €


Project Coordinator

Rosa Fernandez, Spain


Proponent Institution

Centro Tecnológico del Mar, Fundación CETMAR · ES


Participating Institutions

Consellería do Mar, Xunta de Galicia · ES

Universidade de Santiago de Compostela · ES

Université de Bordeux · FR

University College Cork · IE

Bangor University · UK

NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bangor · UK

Groupe d’Etude des Milieux Estuariens et Littoraux · FR

Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, I.P. · PT

Universidade de Aveiro · PT

Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa · PT

Université de Caen Normandie · FR

BRIEF SUMMARY



EN
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.
ES
El berberecho proporciona gran riqueza las comunidades costeras en el Área Atlántica (AA). COCKLES restaurará la producción y los servicios proporcionados por este recurso emblemático, acechado por patologías y una gestión ineficiente. El desarrollo de la acuicultura, de estirpes resistentes, la recuperación de stocks, optimizando la administración y las capacidades de los actores lograrán recuperar el recurso, valorizar los servicios de ecosistema y desarrollar las economías costeras en el AA.
FR
La coque participe à de nombreux services sur le littoral Atlantique (AA). COCKLES propose de restaurer la production et les services fournis par cette ressource emblématique menacée par les maladies et une gestion parfois inefficace. Développer l’aquaculture, rechercher des lignées résistantes, restaurer les populations pour optimiser la gestion de la ressource contribueront au retour des coques, à l’évaluation des services écosystémiques et stimulera l’économie côtière le long de l’AA.
PT
O berbigão proporciona uma grande riqueza para as comunidades costeiras na Área Atlântica (AA). COCKLES irá restaurar a produção e os serviços proporcionados por este recurso emblemático, ameaçado por patologias e uma gestão ineficiente. O desenvolvimento da aquicultura, de estirpes resistentes, a recuperação de stocks, otimizando a administração e as capacidades dos atores contribuirá para a valorização dos serviços do ecossistema e para o desenvolvimento das economias costeiras na AA.


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PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE



Improving the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems services.



OVERALL OBJECTIVE



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:


» 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;


» 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;


» 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;


» 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.

COMMON CHALLENGE



Cockles suffer from periodic mass mortalities with severe effects on natural stocks. The frequency and intensity of such episodes have significantly increased in the last 50 years, especially for the most valued native species, Cerastoderma edule.

Mortality for this species has been dramatic in the last decade due to devastating effects of emergent diseases. Overfishing, inefficient management and worse environmental conditions have also led to dramatic production declines throughout the AA. Despite this, Europe produces # 800K tn. of molluscs/year, representing a turnover of 1,100M€ and about 37K direct employments, representing 50% of global EU aquaculture production. Clams and cockles production in EU-28 reached 30KT, with a value of 174M€ in 2013 (Eurostat), with AA countries among the major producer communities.

Cockles are considered a delicacy of the Atlantic gastronomy and an asset for tourism. From a social perspective, cockles are traditionally exploited by small associations often with high rates of female employment. In terms of protection areas cockle is a key-species, for many top predators (finfish, waders).

The decline of production threats equilibrium of the global food-web in coastal environments. Mass mortalities and declining stocks have already resulted in economic and ecological losses. This has severe consequences for the social structure of coastal communities, and for the wider ecosystem services and societal benefits provided by cockles.