The County Administration Board of Norrbotten (CAB) has applied for LIFE funding for a major river restoration project in three EU countries so as to ensure the continued survival of freshwater pearl mussels.

During the WLE project the CAB has identified the need for future Interregional work to ensure the survival of the freshwater pearl mussel and thereby build the local tourism economy. The CAB has therefore together with 15 other organisations in three different countries (Sweden Finland and Estonia) completed a LIFE funding application “LIFE Revives”.

The freshwater pearl mussel is a unique species that can live to over 250 years but requires a pristine aquatic environment and strong host species of salmon and trout. Freshwater pearl mussels have a short larval stage where they live and spread on salmon or trout gills and this means that growing numbers of freshwater pearl mussels also require strengthening salmon and trout stocks. This work will in turn create the opportunity for future sustainable sport-fishing tourism based on catch and release of fish.

The Wildlife Economy project has helped give insight into regional needs concerning survival of freshwater pearl mussel and how this unique species can help boost the local economy.