Collecting shells: is it really allowed?

Shell collecting is popular with children and vacationers. They are often taken away from holidays as souvenirs. However, you should note a few things. What exactly, you will find in this article.

Fun meets shell collecting species protection. If you are on holiday in Germany, you can definitely take a few mussels with you. Because here it is allowed with slight restrictions. When you come home from other countries, you may at least have trouble with customs control if you have illegal mussels.

Where you can collect shells

In the following countries Can you collect the shells?If you do not have more than three oyster shells and three giant oysters in your luggage:

  • Germany
  • France
  • Greece
  • Croatia
  • Portugal
  • Spain

In the following countries You are not allowed to collect shellsbecause it can be considered an intrusion into a protected ecosystem, which is why there is a high fine risk:

  • Egypt
  • dominican republic
  • Dubai
  • Italia
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand
  • turkey
  • United State
  • Cyprus (regulations apply here, depending on the location, as in Turkey or Greece)

You should absolutely avoid collecting starfish, corals, sea urchins, or the like. Most of the species are strictly protected. It is best to marvel at these animal species on site and leave them in their natural habitat.

You should pay attention to this when collecting shells

There are certain things you should keep in mind when collecting shells.
(Photo: CC0/Pixabay/MabelAmber)

If you notice the following things, you are on the safe side when collecting projectiles and similar activities:

  • Collecting Nothing is alive. Live animals are as taboo as dead remains.
  • Leaves Snail shells prefer to lie down. It can be an important habitat for hermit crabs.
  • Basically, you should eat mussels in moderation and for personal use Collecting. Collection for commercial purposes is prohibited.
  • In some places in Germany it is also forbidden to collect mussels. Whatch out corresponding marks.
  • be cerfull, There are no protected species to collect. Do some research before you start collecting shells.
  • Don’t buy corals, snails, or shells as souvenirs. Even if it looks especially beautiful, you should keep in mind that it is taken alive from the sea for purely commercial purposes.

This is how mussel harvesting affects the marine ecosystem

When collecting shells, among other things, quantity is critical.
When collecting shells, among other things, quantity is critical.
(Photo: CC0/Pixabay/GonzaKnox)

If all vacationers collect shells, it will have a huge impact on the ocean ecosystem. Mollusks are an important food source for seabirds, fish, and starfish. If large amounts of it disappear, these animals lose a significant part of their food.

In addition, mussels filter sea water. Mussels are famous for absorbing sea water and filtering out a large part of the particles and microscopic algae.

Dispose of mussels properly

Of course, you should only collect as many shells as you can actually use. If you have to get rid of them, you have to dispose of them properly.

It consists mainly of lime, which decomposes very slowly, with the remaining components of mussel shells, such as a layer of inner mother-of-pearl and other minerals. That’s why you shouldn’t have oysters in compost binDispose of them in nature or on compost. If you cannot find any buyers, you should dispose of the mussels in the remaining waste bin. However, it is more sustainable to provide mussels for a new home or other use.

For example, you can ask artists, hobbyists or kindergarteners if they can give you the rest crafting shells want to continue to use. It is best to keep mussels in nature.

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