Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Police hunting River Spey pearl mussel poachers

Post Thumbnail

The hunt is on for poachers who have been targeting endangered freshwater pearl mussels in the River Spey.

Police including officers from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, water bailiffs from the River Spey Salmon Fisheries Board and Scottish Natural Heritage staff have been on the trail of the gang.

The mussels, which are one of the most critically endangered molluscs in the world, are targeted by those looking for the pearls inside.

Each year hundreds of these mussels are found needlessly killed and abandoned on the banks of salmon rivers, particularly the River Spey said a police spokesman.

As part of a UK wildlife crime conservation priority, the freshwater pearl mussel is fully protected, making it illegal to disturb, injure, take or kill a freshwater pearl mussel. Throughout the summer dedicated patrols will be taking place, targeting those responsible for this type of criminality.

Chief Inspector Colin Gough, wildlife crime co-ordinator for the Highlands, said: “This initiative is an excellent example of agencies working together at a practical level to tackle this type of crime, which adversely affects rural communities.

“I am very confident that this initiative will make a positive impact on criminal activity in these rural areas and I would urge the public and river users to be vigilant, and report any suspicious activity to Police Scotland on 101 or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Iain Sime of Scottish Natural Heritage said: “Freshwater pearl mussels are critically endangered. With Scotland holding many of the world’s largest and most important remaining populations, it’s crucial we protect them to keep our rivers healthy. Over the last 100 years, the number of our rivers which support freshwater pearl mussels has dropped by a third. A big reason for this is ongoing, illegal pearl fishing. Therefore we support this initiative to keep our remaining pearl mussel populations safe.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in