Friend of the Sea announces the certification of the first cockles products, from the main Spanish canning company Frinsa del Noroeste. The certification, by an independent international certification body, comes after an in-depth audit of the production sites of the Frinsa’s supplier Cofradía de Pescadores “San Bartolomé Noia”, operated in one of the bays (rias) of Galicia, at the estuary of the Tambre river.
Cockles (“berberechos” in Spanish) (Cerastoderma edule) are marine bivalve mollusks which live in sandy sheltered beaches around the world. Galicia is one of the main producers of cockles in Europe and Frinsa owns one of the main brands in the Spanish market.
As with most farmed shellfish, also the cockles production is a very low impact way of producing a valuable source of protein. The local cockles population is managed efficiently by the Government and the producers associations (Cofradias) by means of science based regulations. Each year a new working plan is established indicating the number of authorized employees, the weight at catch permitted, the maximum total catch and the allowed harvesting tools. The Government office Conselleria de Pesca e Asuntos Maritimos run periodical analysis of environmental control parameters, such as sediments and water quality.
Cockles are normally harvested with handheld rakes in shallow areas which workers can reach on foot. Small boats are used to harvest cockles in deeper areas, with slow moving manual dredges. Several studies have proved that the action of the rakes on the seabed positively impacts the sediment and accelerates the growth of cockles and other mollusks. The harvesting process consumes little to no fuel or energy. Frinsa itself uses a co-generator to produce most of its energy, making the whole production of cockles almost fuel and carbon free.
“Frinsa already produces tuna and mussels certified sustainable by Friend of the Sea,” states Mr Carregal, CEO of Frinsa. “Cockles are typical from Galicia and produced in harmony with the environment. We are proud they obtained this international sustainability recognition.”
For more information:
Frinsa del Noroeste SA
Friend of the Sea