Pearl Mussel Theft in Scottish Rivers

Scottish rivers contain approximately 50% of the global population of freshwater pearl mussels, which has been attracting thieves for a number of years.

Although individual hauls could raise thousands of pounds, it is difficult to comprehend the destructive mentality which would strip settlement spots of dozens if not hundreds of mussels; with the fear that many are damaged beyond recovery. Although, it should be noted that “unauthorized engineering” (read corporate flouting of the law) is another source of damage.

There are other ways to make a neat little profit from the bounty of the rivers and sea in Scotland. Albert Roux recently lamented that he was unable to purchase locally sourced fish for his new restaurant in Lochinver as the principal catches were immediately packed onto refridgerated lorries bound for down the Continent. Thus he has turned to small boats, with one or two men, to supply his kitchen.


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