September 13, 2020 – Croatian scientists got together at a conference aimed at expanding the Natura 2000 network. They sent out a stern warning regarding the future of the noble pen shell in the Mediterranean.
Noble pen shell (called periska in Croatian, Pinna Nobilis, lat) is a large species of Mediterranean clam, the biggest of its kind in the Mediterranean traditionally grows to around a half a meter, but it’s been known to grow as high as 120 centimeters. It’s buried in the sandy sea-bottom, up to one-third of its length, and could, in the past, be frequently found in the Croatian Mediterranean. Recently, its population has been steeply declining, and the scientists warn that, unless we come up and see through the measures needed to save the living specimens, we might lose the species forever – before the end of this year! The rapid mass extinction of the noble pen shell has gotten much faster in the past few months. We have weeks to do what it would take to save it, Eko Kvarner association, the organizer of the conference, reported on Sunday. We still don’t fully understand the reasons behind such rapid decline of their population in the Mediterranean, nor the Adriatic sea.
The scientists will send an appeal to the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the President of the Croatian Parliament, hoping that they’ll be willing to help engage the resources available to them to help quarantine the living specimens of the shell, while at the same time attempting to grow the next generation to repopulate our coastline. Unless enough resources are dedicated to the problem, probably sometime next year, the only thing left to do will be to build a monument to another lost species, this time to the one which held an iconic status in Croatia.