Date mussel - Lithophaga lithophaga

Sea Date shell, Lithophaga lithophaga, grows and lives inside the rocks, so it is practically impossible to see and film it unless the rock where it is found is shattered, an obviously illegal practice, prohibited by the regulations of all Mediterranean countries. Consequently, fishing is also prohibited and those who practice it are finally punished with severe and heavy sanctions,

Octopus and date shell, date mussel Lithophaga lithophaga

Polpo e Dattero di mare Lithophaga lithophaga


Date mussel or Date shell (Lithophaga lithophaga) is a bivalve mollusc of the Mytilidae family.

It settles inside limestone rocks or larger shells, corroding them through acidic secretions that it secretes from special glands. Its growth is extremely slow, and it takes 15 to 35 years to reach a length of 5 cm.

Polpo e Dattero di mare Lithophaga lithophaga

Polpo e Dattero di mare Lithophaga lithophaga


Its consumption, possession, trade and fishing are prohibited in all states of the European Union pursuant to art. 8 of Regulation (EC) 1967/2006. In Italy, the Ministerial Decree of 16 October 1998 already prohibited all these activities: “… considering that the scientific institutes responsible for carrying out studies on the subject have highlighted that fishing activities for L. lithophaga and Pholas dactylus (white date) cause alterations to the seabed rocky with destruction of biocoenoses;… Decrees:

The ban on the collection of lithophagous molluscs with the use of jackhammers or other percussion tools, established by EC regulation 1626/94 of 27 June 1994, is extended to all Italian coasts with the ban on fishing for date sea and white dates with any tool.

The ban on the possession and trade of sea dates and white dates referred to in the Ministerial Decree of 26 September 1996 is extended to 30/9/2007, as their fishing seriously damages the limestone coasts, including those of the Sorrento peninsula. and the Gulf of La Spezia.”

Polpo e Dattero di mare Lithophaga lithophaga

Polpo e Dattero di mare Lithophaga lithophaga


However, in some cases poaching continues to be practiced. To satisfy the demand for this product from those who appreciate it from a gastronomic point of view, various breeding projects are being attempted, in which the dates will be planted in special concrete blocks, the destruction of which at the time of harvesting cannot will cause any ecological or landscape damage.



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Polpo e Dattero di mare Lithophaga lithophaga

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