Populations of Pinna nobilis have been declining in French coasts for many years, mainly due to anthropogenic impacts such as pollution, boat mooring, trawling and the artificialization of the coastline. Already considered as vulnerable species, a mass mortality event has been devastating the species throughout the Mediterranean since late 2016.

This paper reports the recent observation of living P. nobilis in the Port-Cros National Park (France). The 8 living individuals were found in November 2020 and were still alive in March 2021.

The surviving P. nobilis were found between 23 and 27 m depth and in the same area 42 dead pen shells were observed. The sizes of the surviving individuals ranged from 8 to 20 cm in length (unburied length, meaning that some of them were young specimens.

The authors conclude that the discovery of new living individuals offers real hope for the survival of the species and the recovery of the pen shell populations.


Ruitton & Lefebvre (2021) Toward a recovery of the pen shell Pinna nobilis in the French Mediterranean open sea? Scientific Reports of the Port-Cros National Park 35:429-434.