Conservation Objectives

The process of setting site-specific conservation objectives (SSCOs) is on-going.  To date, freshwater pearl mussel SSCOs have been published for four SACs:

  • 000197  West of Ardara/Maas Road SAC
  • 002162  River Barrow and River Nore SAC (Nore only)
  • 002165  Lower River Shannon SAC
  • 002170  Blackwater River (Cork/Waterford) SAC

The associated spatial data are available here.  Freshwater pearl mussel SSCOs have been drafted for all other SACs and will be published over time (the list of published SSCOs is here).


These SSCOs, while site-specific, have general application as they utilise standard lists of attributes for each habitat/species and contain useful notes.  All SSCOs are “to restore the favourable conservation condition of the freshwater pearl mussel”.  The freshwater pearl mussel is unique in having environmental objectives established in law (the European Communities Environmental Objectives (Freshwater Pearl Mussel) Regulations, S.I. 296 of 2009).  SSCOs for the species include the attributes and targets established in these Regulations.  They also include additional attributes, such as hydrological regime, and expand upon those contained in the Regulations (e.g. using redox measurement, in addition to siltation levels).  The SSCO attributes are based on monitoring and research, and are detailed in Article 17 and freshwater pearl mussel monitoring reports.