Digging for Cockle (Clams) in Blueskin Bay

Cockle in New Zealand means “Clams”.  To be honest, I really do not fancy the word cockle. I still think “Clams” sounded much more appropriate. LOL! 😛

Cockles/Clams at Blueskin Bay

Anyway, we had pretty good weather yesterday afternoon and decided to go cockles hunting/digging. It was my first experience and it was fun. Imagine the hard work you put into gathering your own food and you really do appreciate it much more than just shopping at the supermarket. We had our dear friends, Max and Jali, to path the way and teach us the “art” of cockle gathering 🙂

Max & Jali

It was cold but I really had so much fun. It wasn’t as easy as it seem. Initially, we didn’t had much luck with the cockles. Most of the one we found was pretty small. So, we walked further and it was getting better.

So, after lots of digging. We have a full bucket of cockles/clams. About 170++ for us.

Everyone working hard for dinner

Some tips that we have learnt about or during cockles gathering.

  1. The best time to harvest cockles is at low tide.
  2. Cockles stay in shallow water to feed and when the tide recedes, they are a few inches under the sand/mud.
  3. The cockles can easily be dug out using merely your hand.
  4. Bring a bucket to hold the cockles.
  5. After gathering, the cockles should be washed in sea-water to remove surface mud or sand.
  6. Be aware of how many cockles are you allowed to take with you (per day/per person). Under the “SOUTH EAST FISHERY MANAGEMENT AREA RECREATIONAL FISHING RULES INCLUDES KAIKOURA/CANTERBURY AND OTAGO” – we are allowed 150 per person/per day without any minimum size. But, only 50 cockles each day in the Auckland and Coromandel area.
  7. However, do leave the “Small” cockles to give them a chance to grow. 35 mm is supposed to be the reasonably sized adult.
  8. Cockles  contain vitamin A, calcium, iron, zinc and potassium. Yummy & Healthy!

Oh, we had some interesting small crabs encounter too…LOL! Check out the photo below.

And, last but not least, the lovely dinner at Max and Jali. Thanks again for letting us utilise your lovely home and “abusing” your cats. We are still devising our strategy in catnapping.

Puss & Blondie
Carcassonne (board game)
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