The minimum size of clams has been confirmed at 22 millimetres instead of 25 in Italian territorial waters until 31 December 2025.
Sea clam producers in Italy’s Veneto region welcomed a recent confirmation by the EU that clams from Italian waters are subject to a minimum size of 22 mm in contrast to the 25 mm limit in Spain and elsewhere in the EU. The difference is due to the nature of the ecosystem in the waters of Veneto and other Italian regions, which affects the growth of sea clams there.
Opposing the EU decision was Spain, who argued that the disparity in the legal clam size puts Spanish producers at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis their Italian rivals. In assessing the relation between clam size and ecosystem characteristics, the EU put weight on the question of sustainability of the species and the ecosystem. The minimum clam size rules are aimed at sustainability, not market characteristics or competitive forces, and they are intended to make sure a species is not harvested when reproductively immature, regardless of shell size or market value.