Fan Mussel

© S. Ruitton
© O. Bianchimani


The fan mussel is the largest shellfish in the Mediterranean sea! It can measure up to 1.20m in height and lives mainly hidden amongst the long leaves in Neptune grass meadows. They are attach themselves to the sediment using filaments and feed by filtering micro-organisms in the water. A victim of anchoring, pollution and collectors, it is now rare.

Scientific name

Pinna nobilis

Natural habitats

Neptune grass meadows

Did you know?

The fan mussel was exploited by the Romans who weaved clothes using its filaments, called byssus, and made buttons from its mother of pearl

Conservation stake

Very strong


  • Boat anchors that break its shell
  • Pollution and changes to its environment

Conservation management initiatives

Raise public awareness

How can I help to protect it?

When navigating, I ensure to drop anchor where the seabed is sandy in order to protect Neptune grass meadows