Today, some 50% of the rivers in which there are self-supporting populations are in Scotland, yet over 90% of these have been damaged. Unless more is done to preserve and protect the species, it is likely that it will be extinct within 25 years.
Pearls in Peril who came to Kilchoan Learning Centre last night to talk to interested people about the plight of the pearl mussel and to recruit us as 'Riverwatchers'. Natalie described the importance of the pearls from these mussels in Scottish cultural history, and described an age in which pearl fishermen used to exploit the beds of mussels in such a way as not to damage them. Sadly, today their greatest threat is from poachers, many of whom don't appreciate that only one in a thousand shells contains a pearl.
Photos taken in Ardnamurchan burns.