Spanish marine biologists have welcomed news that eight live specimens of the exotic fan mussel (Pinna Nobilis) have been located around the tourism hotspots of Mallorca and Menorca after it was believed that they had been completely wiped out by a parasite.
Technical staff from the Department of the Environment and the Balearic Oceanographic Center have confirmed the discovery of eight of the fan mussels in the touristic spots in a search carried out on 19th October.
Pinna nobilis, commonly named noble pen shell or fan mussel, is a large species of Mediterranean clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family of the pen shells.
It’s size is surprising in comparison to other molluscs, as it reaches up to 120 centimeters (4 feet) of shell length.
Most of the specimens found have been located by individuals, mainly sport divers, who were asked by the experts to report any sightings to see if the molluscs were making a return after the population was eradicated.
These collaborators have reported their observations to the administration, as explained by local newspaper MallorcaHoy.
During the past four years, due to an epidemic of extreme mortality, the population of the noble pen shells was thought to have been completely eradicated from the Balearic Islands and Spanish coast.
They city was completely eradicated suffering a hundred percent mortality rate in 2016 because of a parasite, but conservation efforts including relocation from other areas appears to have borne fruit now that eight of the huge molluscs have been found independently around the region.
It was initially a mystery as to why they were dying but extensive tests clearly exposed the presence of a parasite within the digestive gland of the noble pen shells which was blamed for the widespread deaths.