Molluscs are one of the most exploited marine resources in the Mediterranean Sea, being most of the bivalve species the same ones than those recorded in the classical works of Greek antiquity.

This study assessed the seasonal dynamics and preferential sedimentary habitats of commercial molluscs in soft bottoms within the limits of the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) “Calahonda” (S Spain).

It is stated that the artisanal fishery targeting molluscs in the area is a locally important activity because some species are highly demanded by locals and tourists, reaching high commercial value. The study reports that more than 200 molluscan species inhabit the soft bottoms of the SAC Calahonda, from which 8 species have economic value. Among the commercial species, Chamelea gallina was the most abundant and frequent one, followed by Callista chione.

It is highlighted that many invertebrate species associated with these soft bottoms are potentially very sensitive to dredging activities, especially echinoderms, decapods and cnidarians. The authors state that further research regarding the potential impact of fisheries on these assemblages would be desirable, especially considering the high biodiversity existing within this SAC and the increase of tourists in the last years.

Urra et al. (2018) Populations of commercial molluscs within a highly biodiverse marine protected area on the Northern Alboran Sea (W Mediterranean): Preferential habitats, seasonal dynamics and importance for artisanal fisheries. Thalassas: An international Journal of Marine Sciences 34:349-359.