I was in Wales visiting the cockle beds at the Three Rivers Estuary in Carmarthen for work.
These cockles are about the size for picking.
You know this due to the size of the shell.
Cockle shells are like a tree – each “growth ring” (running perpendicular to each ridge) signifies a year of growth.
These shells are about 2 years old. These will be gathered by the bagful.
In a day an experienced cockle picker can gather 200-300Kgs.
These are immature cockles, called spat. They’re only a few centimetres in length and so not the size for consumption.
In some places these immature cockles don’t grow to full-size, and so die.
The backshore of the beds are littered with dead spat.