Freshwater Pearl Mussels
Grantown Museum

Freshwater pearl mussels are large molluscs that live in the bottom of clean, fast-flowing rivers.

The River Spey is a vital breeding sanctuary for the mussels, which can live for up to a hundred years. Pearl fishing was once very common. Freshwater pearl mussels are a legally protected species but illegal fishing, pollution, and habitat loss have led to them becoming very rare.

Not every mussel contains a pearl. In some rivers one will be found in every second or third mussel; in others, it is only one in fifty or sixty. Scottish freshwater pearls are set in both the Scottish and English crown jewels.

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Date: 1940s
Materials : Mussels
Size : 7cm

Associated Activities

On Reflection

Memorialising… Declining Animal Species



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