Marine experts have called for urgent action to deal with the dwindling population of the Pinna nobilis, or fan mussel – a large species of Mediterranean clam – in the Aegean due to a killer parasite.
Scientists from the University of the Aegean sounded the alarm after research dives in 13 sea areas around the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos showed that the local population of the species had been depleted by 93 percent.
The results of the study, which was conducted in the summer and fall of last year, was published yesterday in Aquatic Invasions.
The latter is a journal of InvasiveNet, an international organization of scientists which confirmed the spread of the parasite that is killing fan mussels. The clam has been on the European Union’s protected species list for decades.
According to the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (ELKETHE), the Pinna nobilis is also under pressure in the Saronic Gulf, the South Evian Gulf and the eastern Aegean.