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Sea dates: what are the prices per kg, why are they forbidden, and what the law says about sea date fishing.
Sea dates: what they are
Thedate of the seais a bivalve mollusk of the Mytilidae family: it is amussel just like the mussel. Its scientific name isLithophaga lithopaga. They are very common in the Mediterranean Sea, especially on the Adriatic coast. In Croatia and in the area of Montenegro they are marketed under the name ofPrstaci. They are also common in some places in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Red Sea.
Sea date farming
Unlike the musselswho see rapid development, the growth of dates of the seait is very slow: it takes 15 to 35 years to reach 5 cm in length. They feed on plankton, algae and debris by filtering them from the water. They reach sexual maturity after about two years and take several decades to reach the size of an edible specimen.
It is clear that setting up a sea date farm requires much more patience and care than a simple mussel farm. In addition, other difficulties are related to the habitat in which they develop. Later we explain the peculiarities so as to make you understandbecause sea dates are prohibitedFrom law.
Banned Sea Dates: Why?
Therefishingof thedate of the seais prohibited by law. The relevant legislation states that it is forbidden to fish or have on board a boat idates of the sea, both when it comes towhite date(Pholos dactylus) than when it comes to municipalitiesdates of the sea(Lithophaga lithopaga).
Contrary to the legislation onsea lemons(other prohibited seafood), this one just mentioned is a national provision, therefore it affects all coastal areas of Italy and not just certain locations.
Why are sea dates banned?
For the collection. Full-grown sea dates measure about 8 - 9 cm. The extraction of thesemusselsit requires the dismantling of the rocks in which they grow. This practice can lead to the “desertification” of the coast with the destruction of entire habitats.
For this reason, many states havefishing for sea dates is prohibited. The aim is to protect coasts and marine habitats. Sea dates are now illegal in several countries such as:
Its brown shell has a cylindrical shape and develops in the limestone live rocks, with its slow development, it digs small tailor-made tunnels.
Forfish for sea datesunderwater fishermen go so far as to break various regulations.
- It is forbidden to fish before sunrise and after sunset. Sea date fishing is generally done before dawn to "not arouse in the eye".
- It is forbidden to fish in seaside areas. Sea date fishing is generally carried out in frequented coastal areas.
- Underwater fishing with cylinders is prohibited. Underwater fishing is allowed only in apnea but to fish for sea dates, fishermen commit the further offense of diving with oxygen cylinders and picks.
- It is forbidden to market what has been caught during recreational fishing trips.
- It is forbidden to collect sea dates (even if they are dead!)
To understand the havoc linked to the illegal trade ofdate of the seait would be enough for you to dive to 5 - 7 meters, on the Bari coast between Torre Quetta and San Giorgio. What you will find is a completely cracked rocky area.
What are the risks of fishing sea dates?
Theresea date fishingit is punished with very severe penalties. They range from arrest for two months to two years or onefineranging from 2,000 to 12,000 euros, plus the confiscation of the catch and all the equipment used.
Sea dates: price
It is clear that, as fishing is prohibited, their marketing is also prohibited. At one time, idates of the seathey were sold in fish markets at the same price as the finest oysters.
The oldest fishing system involved the use of explosives, pneumatic hammers and picks. Sea date fishing has caused severe damage to rock substrates and marine habitats in several areas of the Mediterranean. Given its slow development, the speciesLithophaga lithophagait has been considered at risk in many areas and for long periods. Even today it is considered a protected species.
Today, we remember that thesale of sea datesit is active only on theblack marketand a kg of this mussel can be bought with around 50 - 60 euros per kg.