About the competition
The International Mollusc of the Year competition was started in 2021 by the LOEWE TBG and Senckenberg together with Unitas Malacologica (the world mollusc society). Molluscs include snails and slugs, mussels and clams, octopus and squid, as well as tusk shells (scaphopods), chitons, monoplacophorans and worm-molluscs.
The winning mollusc is selected by a public vote, and the “prize” is complete genome sequencing of the species by LOEWE TBG. Our aim is to celebrate the incredible diversity and inspire fascination for all worldwide molluscs.
How the competition works
Each year we accept nominations for potential competitors. Any living species of mollusc, anywhere in the world, is edible. The only condition is that the person proposing the species must have access to specimens that would be suitable for genomic sequencing and can provide all relevant permits (Nagoya, CITES), in case the species is successful. We also expect the nominators to actively campaign for the finalists and encourage participation from the voting public!
These five final molluscs are announced for an open, public vote. The last two years received more than 35,000 votes from people in more than 100 countries.
Several other organisations celebrate their own “Mollusc of the Year” for example the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union of Austria and German Malacology Society celebrate national molluscan treasures every year to raise public awareness of native mollusks and their indispensable functions in our environment.