Le Figarò, in collaboration with Triton Research, has published an article dedicated to the LIFE Pinna project. The noble pen shell, emblematic of the Mediterranean, is a victim of a parasite and counts only a few specimens. The European project LIFE PINNA is ongoing to save Pinna nobilis.
The great pen shell, the second largest bivalve in the world, is an endemic and emblematic species of the Mediterranean basin. In ancient times, its meat was a delicacy for banquets, and the fiber it produces, known as byssus, was long used to create ‘sea silk,’ the raw material for precious fabrics. However, since the end of 2016, this large bivalve, which can reach up to 1.2 meters, is on the verge of extinction.
Affected by a parasite, the species undergoes episodes of extreme mortality and has disappeared along the entire Mediterranean coastline. There is still hope: some areas seem to harbor resistant individuals. The European Union is funding two projects aimed at better understanding the phenomenon and saving the species. Life Pinnarca involves scientists from Greece, Italy, Spain, and France, while the Life Pinna project is exclusively Italian.