The Mediterranean ribbed limpet (Patella ferruginea) is a gastropod mollusc native to the Western Mediterranean Sea which has been catalogued as “in danger of extinction” by the Spanish Catalogue of Endangered Species, and is included in Annex IV of the Habitats Directive which obliges EU Member States to ensure its strict protection, even outside of the Natura 2020 network.
At present, the species is considered practically extinct on European coasts, only existing a small population along the Andalusian coast and in specific settlements on the coasts of Corsica and Sardinia.
The only large populations are all located along the North African coast, particularly at five locations: the Chafarinas Islands, Ceuta, Melilla, the island of Zembra (Tunisia) and the Habibas Islands (Algeria).
Patella ferruginea specimen (Visit to Donor Area 15/09/16). Source: Acciona Ingeniería.
The causes of the decline are associated with direct human action, mainly fishing, port development and pollution, as the species has very demanding biological and ecological needs that mean it has a poor dispersion capacity and poor ability to adapt to new environments.
The causes of the decline are associated with direct human action, mainly harvesting, port development and pollution, as the species has very demanding biological and ecological needs that mean it has a poor dispersion capacity and poor ability to adapt to new environments.
Biological: Exogenous reproduction only once per year, with a short reproduction cycle.
Ecological: Habitat limited to narrow stretch of the coastal environment, and high level of attachment to its “home scar”.
In this specific context and facing the challenge of translocation of species in danger of extinction, arises the collaboration between ACCIONA Ingeniería S.A., the Port Authority of Melilla and the University of Seville. After the initial contact was established, possible strategies for action were looked at which concluded in the presentation of the REMoPaF Project to the LIFE 2015 programme in the Nature and Biodiveristy category.
The Consortium is formed by three partners, with experience in different fields, all ideally complementary for all aspects of the project: scientific knowledge of the species, processes, management and facilities and over 50 years off technical engineering know-how.
The Project started on 7th July 2016 with the European Commission’s Grant Agreement and the Kick-off Meeting, attended by the above mentioned partners of the Consortium, was held on 12th July 2016 at the Seville Aquarium (Seville, Spain).