Climate change is taking its toll on Mallorca's snails. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

Mallorca is running out of snails - a very traditional dish on the island.
The high temperatures are taking their toll on the snail farming sector, which has experienced a spectacular boom and bust in recent years.

According to the latest official census of snails in the Balearics, which is managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in 2020 there were 17 farms in Mallorca with a total of 814,000 specimens.
But today, just two years on, there are practically only two active breeders left: Jaume Riutort (Caragolera de Muro) and Biel Sbert (Caragol Son Pou, Felanitx).

“What happens is that 90% of the snails consumed in Mallorca are frozen, so we cannot compete on price. In our case, the farm serves clients who demand quality, such as Michelin Star chef Santi Taura. The price difference between frozen snails and snails reared in Mallorca is brutal,” says Jaume Riutort.

His snails are sold already cleaned and purged at a price of 10 euros per kilo, 12 euros if it is a bover snail. He has kept the same price for the last five years, although he started his business in 2009.
Climate change has only made the day-to-day running of a business that experienced its best moment in Mallorca in 2016 with 19 active farms and 1.8 million snails even more difficult.

According to the census of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 4 % of all snail farms in Spain were located in the Balearics at that time. “This summer has been the perfect storm. It has been a hard, dry and long summer. Almost all of our snails died and we had to start breeding again,” says Riutort.