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The fishing of sponges has been practiced since antiquity when it was known as one of the Olympic games. Even Aristotle said about sponges that: "they have feelings". In fact, the sponge is not an industrial product, but a NATURAL one belonging to the group of "spongus" and called "zoophyte" from ancient Greek, meaning both animal and plant.
The sponges are located all over the world; we can find them from tropical to polar waters and at all depths, from close to the shores down to the abysses.
In spite of that, the best ones in terms of quality and commercial use are those fished for in temperate seas, with either rocky or sandy sea bottoms, good water circulation and moderate salinity. Furthermore, waters with no tides or streams and with moderate temperature are the best environments for sponges to grow in; that's the reason why the best quality sponges are fished for in the Mediterranean Sea.
In deep water, the sponge has a blackish massive shape, surrounded by hard skin, perforated by a multitude of small holes called "inhaling pores". Through those, the sponge inhales water that provides it with oxygen and various nourishing organic particles and bacteria. After the filtration, the water is expelled through bigger holes called "osculs".
In the Mediterranean Sea, it takes two years for a sponge to reach a diameter of 10 cm.