a little history



It is said that these shells have been known since antiquity and that the Romans put them on their menu.


In France, before the nineteenth century, only flat oysters (ostrea edulis, also known as belons or horse-feet for the biggest) were eaten, which were dredged in a boat or on foot on the foreshore. The Sire de Gouberville relates that in 1556 he breakfasted on a Friday of Lent with the priest of Tourlaville, his friend, and the sieur des Hachées, for three sous of ouystres in escal. At the time, they were also stocked in rudimentary parks delimited by low walls which made it possible to have at disposal oysters consumables whatever the season or the state of the sea. Of course there were losses, because of the Flights (already) and storms that could project the shells behind the work.


This mode of fishing remained unchanged for three centuries, and the oysters had great success since the ancien regime, on the bourgeois and princely tables. Our region was a great provider of Rouen and Paris, by boats which traveled up the Seine by means of all kinds of taxes often to be paid in kind, from the exit of the Hougue to Rouen and even when arriving at the quay in Paris. It seems that oysters were also shipped in straw baskets to make stews.


But a depletion of the deposits due to overexploitation prompted Professor Coste to create replicas of the natural deposits of flat oysters, this is the beginning of oyster farming.

In 1868, "the Malaysian", a ship containing a cargo of Portuguese hollow oysters (Crassostrea angulata) shelters for several days in the port of Bordeaux. But the cargo is spoiled and all the oysters will be thrown into the estuary of the Gironde. Some non-dead oysters have spawned and created a natural deposit.


In 1920, a high mortality of flat oysters virtually destroyed the species. Livestock reopened a little later, but production is still very low these days.

At the same time, the Portuguese hollow oysters are raised on the Atlantic coast, directly flat on the ground.


In the 1950s, there was a dramatic increase in oyster farming in France.


Complexe CABANOR créé à l'initiative de Maurice Delisle

Until the beginning of the century the Bisquines dredged the oyster sand banks off Granville. But from year to year the quantity fished decreased and in 1925 each boat did not bring back a hundred of these oysters which were called "horse's foot".


The winter of 1963 was so severe that the sea froze, and all life on the foreshore was annihilated


In the mid-1960s, locals believed in the RENOVATING of the Normandy oyster, but the time for picking was over, the oyster will now be grown. The Normandy oyster farming is moving to a new stage, the introduction of rearing on the table


The oysters are placed in pockets arranged on metal tables, keeping them about 40 cm from the ground. This new technique improves the longevity of oysters. In addition, the oysters "parked" open and close according to the alternating tides, which in Normandy are among the strongest in Europe. In this way, they improve, acquire consistency and flavor ...


In 1967 the dying Portuguese oyster was replaced by a variety originating in Japan (Crassostrea gigas).

In 1968 a new oyster basin off the communes of Gouville, Blainville and Agon-Coutainville was born.

Since the early 1970s, the Japanese hollow oyster has been successfully established on all French basins.


In 1974, several oyster growers, Maurice DELISLE, decided to regroup in order to promote their profession. They were looking for ways to develop a working tool that would allow them to better produce and sell their oysters. The idea of a cooperative, which would be a kind of pilot center for producers, was born. Through their work, their innate sense of culture and breeding, their knowledge of the sea, these pioneers made Normandy, in some 3 decades, the first oyster farming area in France.

In 1975 the Coopérative Aquacole of BAsse-NORmandie (CABANOR) was created.

In 1979 it settled on 13 hectares conceded by the Maritime Affairs in the haven of Blainville on sea.

Today 50 members, professionals of the sea, use its facilities. CABANOR comprises 30 workshops, 66 purification basins, 36 clear refineries and 25,000 m3 of seawater.

In the 70's the largest, at the time, hatchery-nursery of oysters in Europe sees the day in Gatteville.


The Normandy oyster farming sector continues to develop and organize: here and there, oyster farmers are grouping together to manage collectively seawater-fed sites. All these steps contribute to the dynamism of the profession.igas.