Scots boost to bid to prevent at-risk pearl mussels from becoming history

Great to see our member fishery trust on the Kyle of Sutherland leading conservation work to protect freshwater pearl mussels.

They are the mussels whose pearls feature in the Scottish crown jewels. Julius Caesar’s admiration of the mollusc is cited by his biographer as a motive for the first Roman invasion of Britain in 55BC.

But they are now being pushed into extinction due to illegal fishing. Now  it has emerged that plans to save the freshwater pearl mussel are to benefit from a new fund aimed at protecting and growing Scotland’s vulnerable marine life.

Some 12 successful projects across Scotland will share an additional £2m committed in the Biodiversity Challenge Fund. One of the projects benefitting the Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries Trust’s bid to save the pearl mussels.

The project aims to restore river habitats to protect the vulnerable population within a tributary of Loch Shin in the the north west Highlands.

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