The Pearl Mussel Project is a locally led European Innovation Partnership (EIP) whereby local farmers, researchers and advisors are working together to develop a programme to ensure long term coexistence of farming and freshwater pearl mussel in eight priority catchment areas in the west of Ireland. The Pearl Mussel Project have designed and are currently implementing a voluntary results-based agri-environmental scheme. The project aims to help protect the endangered freshwater pearl mussel and enhance the local environment by maintaining and improving natural habitats and water quality. The Project demonstrates how the results-based model can be adapted to an aquatic target at a multi-catchment scale.
Full details available on project website https://www.pearlmusselproject.ie/
Location of the schemeseveral regions
South-West; West; Border Region
Objective(s) of the scheme / project
- Erosion control
- Water quality
The project will include the following elements:
A results based agri-environmental programme.
Community outreach. The project team will promote environmental awareness amongst the local communities in each of the project areas. This will be achieved by working with schools and local interest groups.
Promoting innovative agriculture. The project will support innovative approaches to agriculture that aim to reduce environmental impact or enhance the environment as relevant to the project.
Develop market opportunities. Explore and help develop new market opportunities for agricultural producers that compliment the project’s overall environmental targets.
Research and development. Support research and development relevant to the aims of the project.
Which habitats or species are in the focus of the scheme / project?
- Habitats (incl. habitats of Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Directive (FFH-D.))
- Species (incl. species of FFH-D. and Birds Directive (BD))
- Landscape elements
Which indicators are used?
- Habitats (incl FFH and BD)
- Species (incl FFH and BD)
- Landscape Elements
- Physical structures (e.g. dead wood, presence of brushwood, hollow trees, tall grass)
Design of scheme / project
- Hybrid result based payment with complementary management based payments
Project activities include: developing and implementing a results-based agri-environmental scheme which financially rewards farmers for delivering environmental benefits; community outreach to promote environmental awareness amongst local communities in each of the project areas; promoting innovative agriculture by supporting novel approaches to land management that are relevant to the aims of the project; developing market opportunities for agricultural producers that complement the project’s overall environmental targets; supporting research and development relevant to the aims of the project.
By which fund(s) is the scheme / project implemented?
- Other measures of Rural Development
EIP operational group
How are the incentives (payment levels) calculated?
Costs incurred and income foregone
Costs incurred and income foregone related to management actions assumed to deliver highest scores. Complementary actions use standard costs
How many hectares are in the scheme (year 2020)?
- More than 5.000
How many farmers take part in the scheme?
- 101 – 500
How are participating farmers supervised/advised?
- Advisors visits (obligatory)
- Advisors visits (optional)
- Advice by telephone
- Information documents (pamphlets, reports, etc.)
- Information meetings/workshops (obligatory)
- Information meetings/workshops (voluntary)
Are there any evaluation results (2020)?
Dr Patrick Crushell
The pearl mussel project Ltd., Bell height, Kenmare, County Kerry.
Tel (L): +353 64 6640685