Project to conserve freshwater pearl mussel launched

REPRO FREE Michael Creed TD, Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine talks to pilot farmers Padraig Connell, from Waterville and Colm Gavin from Leenane at the launch of the Pearl Mussel EIP Scheme at Glenbeg Lake, Ardgroom on the Bears Peninsula. Picture: Maxwells

A project has been officially launched to protect Ireland’s longest living animal.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed announced a €10 million scheme to conserve the native freshwater pearl mussel.

The mollusc is an endangered species which is found in near-pristine freshwater habitats and can live for up to 140 years.

This programme brings farmers, farm advisors, scientists and researchers together to deliver a targeted landscape level intervention.

The project will cover Kerry, Cork, Mayo, Galway and Donegal.

In Kerry the catchments include the Blackwater, Caragh and Currane.