The red coral (Corallium rubrum) is the only species of the genus Corallium that lives in the Mediterranean, but it is also widespread in the Eastern Atlantic, usually up to 200 meters deep in places with poor lighting and poor vegetation.
It needs particular living conditions: constant water salinity, reduced water movement and attenuated lighting.
The rate of sediment suspended in water, if too high, limits its survival, therefore, lives preferably in shady and sheltered places.
Exceptionally, it can be observed at shallow depths, but has also been reported at depths of up to 800 m. It can be found in large quantities, in the caves of the areas to the north-west of Sardinia.
Red coral fishing is currently done exclusively by underwater corals, with a specific license renewed each year by the Region of relevance, generally operating in areas of high depth from about 80 m to about 130 meters deep.
Fishing until the 80s, took place through a motorized fishing boat, formerly a Latin sail, called coralline, which dragged a large wooden cross with equal arms. The first fishermen of Corallo were the inhabitants of the city of Torre del Greco in the province of Naples
Red coral from time immemorial is fished and marketed mainly for the creation of jewelry and works of art. Mostly it is mounted on gold and silver or drilled to obtain necklaces and bracelets.
The processing is divided into various phases starting from the elimination of the coating, the cenosarco, from cleaning, from cutting and / or carving, from processing and finally from polishing.