The freshwater pearl mussel is a rare and threatened species. Scotland is one of its few remaining strongholds. As a species, it’s extremely vulnerable to in-river working. For these reasons, the freshwater pearl mussel is fully protected by law. It’s a crime to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure, take or disturb pearl mussels – or to damage their habitat.
If you are responsible for planning, advising on and carrying out river works in Scotland, this leaflet is for you. It explains why pearl mussels are protected and how development and construction can affect them. It also lists the steps you must take before carrying out river works and tells you who to consult.