COCKLE
 

  • The common name for group of (mostly ) small, edible,saltwater clams, marine bivalve molluscs in the family Cardiidae
  • Cockle live in sandy, sheltered beaches throughout the world
  • Cockles have been cultured in Malaysia for almost five decades
  • The distinctive rounded shells of cockles are symmetrical, and are heart-shape when viewed from the end
  • They are collected by raking them from the sands at low tide.
  • Cockles are capable of “jumping” by bending and straightening the foot
  • Bivalves have separate sexes that are impossible to distinguish from the outside
  • The breeding season of the most species lasts several months
  • They shed eggs and sperm into the water to be fertilized, or, in some species the eggs are retained in the mantle cavity while they develop into a tiny shelled individual
  • The young larvae develop shells and swim freely for a time before metamorphosing on the bottom
  • There are more than 200 living species of cockles, with many more fossil forms

 

  • They found in sandy or muddy areas shallowly buried to a depth of not more than 3 cm
  • Cockles are also eaten by shore birds, bottom-feeding fishes and starfishes.
  • Cockles are active suspension feeders. This means they filter organic matter from water. They “catch” food by actively sweeping or pumping the surrounding water and filter nutrition
  • Cockles are an effective bait for a wide variety of sea fishes
  • From the 1960s onwards, the production of cockles increased substantially through the introduction of aquaculture until, in the 1980s and early 1990s, Malaysia became the world’s largest producer
  • Commercial mussel culture in Malaysia was introduced during the late 1970s in Johor
  • Boiled cockles are sold at many hawker centre and are use in Char KwayTeow, curry mee
  • They are called “kerang” in Malay and “see hum” in Hokkien

Cockle harvesting in Penang

  • Kuala Juru is one of the most productive mudflats for cockle farm in Peninsular Malaysia
  • Major income source for the fishermen in the area since 1970s
  • 60% of cockles harvested out from the coastal area off Kuala Sungai Juru are dead cockles due to water contamination and pollution compared to only 5% dead cockles during the previous good times
  • Kuala Juru is one the many area in Malaysia that harvests and process cockles for distribution to the local markets