The extinction of the noble pen shell across the Adriatic is an alarming situation that the Croatian Veterinary Institute is fighting with the support of ACI Marina Vrboska
At the beginning of June of this year, the Croatian Veterinary Institute, with the support of ACI marina Vrboska, set up collectors for the reception of larvae of the noble pen shell at a location near that Hvar marina. This is an area that was once densely populated by this type of shell, but is now on the verge of extinction. The South Adriatic team is working to preserve this strictly protected and now critically endangered species, and so far they have installed 237 collectors in 25 locations throughout the Dubrovnik-Neretva and Split-Dalmatia counties, including Lokrum, Ston, Mljet, Lastovo, Omiš, Hvar, Vis and Trogir.
Uncertain survival of Mediterranean endemic shellfish
According to currently available data, the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis) is on the verge of extinction in the Adriatic, as well as in the rest of the Mediterranean. The data show that the occurrence of mass mortality has affected the entire Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea, therefore it is necessary to implement certain conservation measures in order to prevent the extinction of the noble periwinkle. The parasite Haplosporidium pinnae are considered to be the main cause of the plague. Increased sea temperatures contribute to the spread of pathogens and speed up the disease process. Taking into account the level of endangerment and the synergistic effect of threats including global climate change, i.e. the average increase in sea temperature, which contributes to the spread of disease agents and high mortality, it is necessary to urgently implement conservation measures and adaptation to new conditions in order to save this species. The project to preserve the noble pinna (Pinna nobilis) in the southern part of the Adriatic Sea is part of the national project to preserve the pinna, the implementation of which is coordinated by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.
Collectors in the vicinity of the ACI marina as a saving grace for an endangered species
Considering the decreasing number of living individuals in the sea, it is crucial for the survival of the species to find potentially resistant individuals that could further reproduce and create natural “immunity”. ACI also recognized the importance of this project as an important stakeholder in the green transition and a promoter of sustainable business and development. In addition to the protection of the surviving adults, the measure currently implemented is the physical protection of the collected individuals, which increases the survival rate of the larvae, and the measure of placing larval collectors in periscopes. The collectors are currently located near the ACI marina Vrboska, which with its contribution has taken a significant step towards the preservation of the noble periwinkle, a Mediterranean endemic species, which is just one more of ACI’s key steps in conducting green business.