Ethnomalacology research methods and applicability: integrating local knowledge to assess molluscs diversity and population change in coastal ecosystems

BURGOS Ariadna - Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle

Shell gathering is one of the most important activities performed by women and children in coastal livelihoods. Although shellfish might be considered to be of secondary importance in the overall diet of coastal societies, it plays a crucial role supplying proteins when faced with environmental fluctuation and seasonal inequalities. Shell gatherers have developed a solid corpus of ecological knowledge related to edible bivalves and gastropods through a long history of oral transmission and empirical experience. The aim of this paper is to describe the development of ethnomalacological research in two different – ecological, cultural and scientific – contexts in Asia and Oceania and to examine the applicability of local knowledge on marine molluscs in climate and coastal change monitoring.