See all the latest news about the Pearl Mussel Project. Remember you can also check out the latest news on our Facebook page (links opposite).

Training for Pearl Mussel Programme Farm Advisors

The Pearl Mussel Project Team will deliver two bespoke farm advisor courses covering such topics as: freshwater ecology, terrestrial ecology, and the results-based approaches to Agri-environment schemes. These classroom events are Phase 1 of the course (Phase 2 will involve field based training towards the end of May 2019). 

These free training courses are a unique business opportunity to be involved in delivering an exciting results-based agri-environment programme by becoming an approved Pearl Mussel Programme advisor. You must be a FAS approved agricultural advisor to attend this training course.

North West Course

Farm Advisor training Kerry

When: Thursday 14 March 2019, 9:30 to 17:30.

Where: The Boat Inn, The Square, Fough West, Oughterard

Register for this free course today on Eventbrite at (closing date for registration 8 March):

South West Course

Farm Advisor training Galway

When: Thursday 21 March 2019, 9:30 to 17:30.

Where: The Blackwater Tavern, Coomnakilla North, Killarney

Register for this free course today on Eventbrite at (closing date for registration 15 March):

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Great turn out at Owenriff Farmer Information Meeting


Smashing turn and interest shown by 80 farmers and attendees for the first PMP farmer information meeting in the Owenriff catchment in the Boat Inn, Oughterard last night. The PMP are now accepting expressions of interest from eligible farmers who would like to join the programme. 

See here for further details.

Many thanks to the The Boat Inn for hosting the meeting.

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Pearl Mussel Programme - Information Booklet

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The Pearl Mussel Project have published an easy to read Pearl Mussel Programme Information Booklet which gives a summary of the agri-environmental results-based farm programme being introduced to save the endangered freshwater pearl mussel in Ireland. 

The Information booklet includes sections on:

Freshwater pearl mussel

Results-based approach

Payment streams including results-based and supporting actions payments

Who can apply?

How to apply?

Selection criteria

Programme participation 

Frequently Asked Questions

You can download a digital copy of this Information Booklet and other programme documentation from our Publications page or write / phone and request a copy of the Information Booklet from:

The Pearl Mussel Project Ltd. 

Bell Height 


County Kerry

V93 KD00

Tel: 064 664 0685

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Pearl Mussel Project – What do you think about when you hear the term 'Freshwater Pearl Mussel'

At the PMP catchment consultation meetings held in 2018 farmers were asked ‘What do you think about when you hear the term Freshwater Pearl Mussel'? This is how farmers responded at the meetings...

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Pearl Mussel Project – World Wetlands Day

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Did you know that wetlands play a vital role in sustaining healthy populations of freshwater pearl mussel in Ireland?

Wetland habitats, in particular blanket bog and associated seepage zones, are a common feature of the most important freshwater pearl mussel catchments in the west of Ireland. This is no coincidence as these wetlands are known to play a vital role in providing the ideal habitat conditions that support freshwater pearl mussel.

Wetlands have the effect of regulating river flow thereby helping to maintain optimal flow conditions even in extreme flood and drought events. In addition, wetland areas alongside river channels provide an important food supply to juvenile mussels. These juveniles are particularly vulnerable and this food source helps to ensure their survival to adulthood.

Drained and modified wetlands cease to provide both these functions. This is likely to partly explain the decline in mussel populations throughout much of the country.

Pearl mussel conservation efforts need to extend beyond the river channel and focus on maintaining and restoring wetland habitats at the catchment level. The Pearl Mussel Programme recognises the value of these habitats and will reward farmers to maintain and restore them through a results-based approach.   

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Pearl Mussel Project Farmer Information Meetings


Pearl Mussel Project Farmer Information Meetings

The Pearl Mussel Project EIP have announced details of farmer information meetings to take place in each of the eight project river catchments during February. 

The information meetings will provide details on the results-based agri-environmental programme designed in consultation with farmers, scientific and technical advisors, and agricultural professionals. Attendees will be able to obtain Terms & Conditions documentation and expression of interest forms for farmers who wish to apply to take part in the programme. The first participants will be recruited into a five year programme during March 2019. All are welcome to attend.

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Owenriff Catchment:  Monday  11th Feb  - The Boat Inn, Oughterard, Co. Galway at 8pm

Bundorragha Catchment:  Tuesday 12th Feb  - Glenkeen Farm, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo at 8pm

Glaskeelan Catchment:  Wednesday 13th Feb - The Colmcille Heritage Centre, Churchill, Co. Donegal at 8pm

Dawros Catchment: Monday 18th Feb - The FORUM Connemara, Letterfrack, Co. Galway at 8pm

Ownagappul Catchment: Monday 18th of Feb - The Caha Centre, Adrigole, Beara, Co. Cork at 8pm 

Kerry Blackwater Catchment:  Tuesday 19th of Feb – The Blackwater Tavern, Blackwater, Co. Kerry at 8pm

Caragh Catchment: Monday 25th of Feb – Glencar Community Centre, Glencar, Co. Kerry at 8pm

Currane Catchment: Tuesday 26th of Feb – Dromid Day Centre, Waterville, Co. Kerry at 8pm

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Pearl Mussel Project - Kerry Farm Advisor Meetings

The Pearl Mussel Project held its second Farm Advisor meeting in the prestigious Killarney House and Gardens, Co. Kerry today. Advisors are key partners in delivery of our farm programme to be launched next month.

Many thanks to Bríd and Horacio of Killarney House and Gardens for accommodating our south-west farm advisor meeting. The house and gardens are well worth a visit when in Killarney to learn all about the cultural and natural history of the amazing Killarney National Park

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Pearl Mussel Project - Farm Advisor Meeting, Maam Cross

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The PMP were delighted with the attendance at our first Farm Advisor meeting in Maam Cross, Co. Galway today. Advisors are key partners in delivery of our farm programme to be launched next month, which will help with the long-term conservation of critical endangered freshwater pearl mussel populations in Ireland.

The role of trained advisors will be to assess farm habitats, advise farmers on supporting actions, and help farmers in preparing annual works plans.

The next Farm Advisor meeting for the South-west is on 24 January 2019: Killarney House, Killarney National Park, Killarney, Co. Kerry from 2-5pm.

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Pearl Mussel Project - Catchment Officer news

Mary McAndrew, PMP Catchment Officer in the West and North-west has had a busy time over the last couple of weeks since taking up her new post. Mary has been out scoring our pilot farms and getting to know her way around our catchments, in a range of weather conditions. She has even met some frisky locals... native deer on some of our blanket bog commonage areas!

Mary has also been working on developing pesticide guidelines for the projects Terms & Conditions’s documentation and is preparing her presentation for the forthcoming advisor information meetings next week.

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Shocking weather
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© Pearl Mussel Project Ltd 2018