does anybody know exactly how cowrie shells are collected? are they collected off the shore, swept from the sea, or what. ive been searchin for this info for a while. ive asked many people. people that sell them, wear them, whatever and no one can tell me. on the internet ive found pretty much anything i would want to know about them EXCEPT how they are collected. i know that they are small snail-like creatures that live in tropical water but are they killed for their shells or are their leftover shells just simply picked up from the shore. i must know this for sure before i ever wear them.