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Since 1988 Marevivo tackles sea dates illegal fishing

A victory for Marevivo

After years of mobilisation and fight against illegal sea dates fishing and protected species, also through Marevivo’s action the Tribunal of Torre Annunziata delivered a ruling the 28th October 2022, underlying  the terrible impact of such an activity for marine ecosystem, which comes after that dated March 2022 of the Court of Naples , which attests to the seriousness of this illegal practice and the devastating impact on the entire marine ecosystem, introducing the crime of environmental disaster with sentences of up to 6 years.

These are historic sentences strongly desired by Marevivo represent a crucial step in the defence of the sea.

Marevivo’s commitment over the years

Marevivo since in 1988 requested and obtained from the Minister of the Merchant Marine, the ban on the devastating sea date fishing and the issuing of a fishing prohibition decree which was later integrated with the prohibition on possession and import.

But the battle to obtain compliance with current legislation, both along the Italian coasts and throughout the Mediterranean, is going to continue as unfortunately there are still many “sea thieves” who, with such an illegal fishing practice, devastate entire stretches of costs due to the highly invasive harvesting technique.

The current situation

During the sea date fishing, the calcareous rocks in which this mollusc digs tunnels are destroyed, causing the irreparable desertification of the marine habitat.

It has been calculated that to prepare a plate of linguine with sea dates, 1 square meter of sea surface is destroyed.

The sea date belongs to the species of marine bivalve molluscs. In the larval stage it lives free in the water. When it reaches adulthood, it attaches itself to calcareous rocks through a filamentous substance, the byssus, which it produces. It can reach a maximum of 10-15 centimeters. It produces a weak acid with which it excavates the limestone rock; this date grows very, very slowly. It takes over ten years to reach ten centimeters and can live perhaps a few decades.

The danger of the biological desert

The real issue that worries the scientific community is that there seems to be no damage more irreversible and serious than that of date fishing. Because it is the only irreversible damage. Once the rock is stripped away, it remains a biological desert. Forever.

This is an immeasurable damage because this environment loses the ability to produce good, wealth in the form of red coral, fish, tourism.


Sea date fishing is prohibited in many areas of the world, including Italy and Europe.

Italy, in particular, was among the first countries to issue laws prohibiting the fishing of sea dates.

The first ban on the collection, possession and marketing of sea dates and white dates goes back to 1988 ((Decree n. 401, 20 August 1988, Ministry of Merchant Marine) and it was subsequently renewed annually and became definitive in 1998 (DM 16 October 1998 ).

At European level, an explicit prohibition of the use of such gear in fishing was ratified by Regulation 1626/94 concerning fishing activities in the Mediterranean and recently reaffirmed by Regulation No. 1967/2006 again relating to this sea which, in article 8, forbids the catching, retention on board, transhipment, landing, storage, sale and display of sea date and white date.

On 10 March 2022, according to the procedure n°8147/2018 RGnr, the poaching of the sea date was recognized and sanctioned as a practice that threatens and violently if not irreversibly destroys the marine ecosystem, effectively determining the impoverishment of the cliffs .