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Urgent Alert: Removal of individuals in Kalloni Bay and Imminent Danger of Species Extinction in Lesvos Bays

Immediate need to protect the fan mussel, as stated by the Laboratory of Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management at the Department of Oceanography and Marine Biosciences, University of the Aegean (UAEGEAN). It was found that juveniles of the marine species Pinna nobilis were removed from the marine area of Kalloni Bay.

As known to the residents of Lesvos, the phenomenon of mass mortality appeared in Greece in 2018. Since then, both the populations of Kalloni Bay and the Gulf of Gera have been decimated. Before the mass mortality phenomenon, the population of Kalloni Bay was estimated to be more than 1 million individuals. Today, it is estimated to have been reduced to a few hundred. Similarly, the population of Gera, previously estimated at about 215,000 individuals, has completely disappeared, the laboratory reported.

The Laboratory emphasizes that the Gulf of Kalloni stands as one of the last two areas in Greece, and the sole region in the Aegean, where live P. nobilis can still be found. It currently harbors one of the most vital remaining populations of this species globally. Since 2019, our team has diligently monitored the evolution of the phenomenon across the island. This year marks a turning point, with a limited but promising recovery observed for the first time since the onset of the mass mortality event. Several young individuals were recorded in Kalloni Bay, offering a glimmer of hope. However, it's crucial to note that this doesn't guarantee the long-term viability of Kalloni's Pinna population. The resilience of these few individuals must be safeguarded through effective protection measures.


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