The tuaki, tuangi or New Zealand cockle is an endemic shellfish that lives just below the surface of the sand. They are subtidal, found up to 10 m deep and are common all around Aotearoa. Tuaki were often harvested by the locals using their feet to dig down into the sand, then their toes to bring the tuaki to the surface, always leaving the small ones behind.
Gathering tuaki with whānau is a fun activity, and for many people, tuaki are an important food source. In some places, populations are under pressure.
Ngāi Tahu Mahinga Kai video
- Tuaki – featuring Meri and Charlie and four generations of Crofts at Koukourārata – harvesting for customary take
- Download a PDF of the video transcript here
- Cockles – Science Learning Hub
- Labelling a cockle/tuangi – Science Learning Hub
- Investigating cockle/tuangi habitat – LEARNZ