Thursday, 20 January 2011

Scallops from Erquy

Among Brittany's great seafood is the scallop, and Erquy is perhaps its best-known scallop -fishing port. Last time I visited, the tide was out...

The local scallops were discovered in 1962, and are caught at night. They are sold at the criée or fish auction house early that same morning. As the name suggests, these auctions used to be carried out with bids shouted out to an auctioneer, but they are now computerised. Although visits may be possible, bidding is not - the sales are strictly wholesale.

Concerns about sustainability have had a profound effect on the fishing here. Boats now fish for only 45 minutes at a time, twice a week between October and April. Nonetheless, there are still concerns about the effects of dredging for scallops, which can damage the seabed.

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