Shellfish farming

Shellfish farming in France produces 200,000 tonnes a year (2009) which makes France the second largest country in Europe in this sector.

In South Brittany and particularly in the Pays de Lorient area, there are 24 companies including two on the Island of Groix.


The different types of shellfish farming:

Oyster farming:

It takes 3 to 4 years for oysters to grow. Different methods of production are used:

  • Flat
  • On tables
  • In deep water
  • On ropes

As is the case for wine, we speak of “vintages” of oysters according to the oyster farming or maturing site.


Mussel farming:

3 main farming methods are used:

  • Farming on stakes (alignments of stakes)
  • Farming on suspended ropes in the open sea
  • Farming flat directly on the ground or on tables

Depending on the method used, the mussels reach maturity at between 12 and 18 months.


Cockle farming:

The cockle seedlings can be laid at sea or at low tide and they grow for 18 months to 2 years.

They must then be immersed in a pool to clean them and to remove sand.


Clam farming:

Clams can only be sown at low tide and they grow for approximately 18 months.

Two techniques are used:

  • The enclosure
  • The horizontal net is unfurled on the seeded part.


Ormer farming:

Ormer farming takes place at the Island of Groix, it is still under developed however.

Key figures :

  • 336

    companies in the Morbihan area

  • 4650 ha

    of concessions

  • 1 175

    jobs including 67 in the Pays de Lorient area.

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