Sanitary Shellfish Gathering Restrictions

Permanent Restrictions on Shellfish Gathering interdit

Currently in France, there is no specific legislation governing recreational shellfish gathering. However, general legislation lays down several fundamental principles:

  • Recreational shellfish gathering is prohibited in and directly around shellfish farms (this generally means within 10 to 15 metres)

In addition to these general rules, mayors and prefects may use their policing powers to regulate recreational shellfish gathering within their jurisdiction, in particular when they are aware of areas that are unsuitable for shellfish gathering. This is the case in Brittany, where for health reasons: 

  • the prefects of Côtes d’Armor, Finistère and Morbihan have passed prefectoral by-laws determining a list of coastal areas where recreational shellfish gathering is permanently prohibited

Temporary Restrictions on Shellfish Gathering  interdit

InterdictionOutside of the areas concerned by general legislation and the by-laws mentioned above, shellfish gathering may also be temporarily banned when situations posing a health risk are identified by government departments and municipal authorities, e.g. development of toxic phytoplankton, one-off microbiological contamination, outbreak reported among shellfish gatherers, etc.