Scottish Land & Estates has signed an agreement with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) to help protect the endangered freshwater pearl mussel from illegal fishing.
Scotland holds 60% of the world population of this mollusc in only a small number of rivers where they filter water to the benefit of trout and salmon. Their stronghold in the north west of Scotland remains under threat from pollution and pearl fishers. Pearl fishing was a traditional pastime until it became unlawful in 1991 due to the impact on mussel populations, but some people still continue to fish for pearls.
Charlie Everitt of the NWCU said, “Pearl fishing can occur in some of Scotland’s remotest places so we are very grateful for the support of Scottish Land & Estates and their members in helping to protect the remaining freshwater pearl mussel populations.”