The return of freshwater mussels in French rivers


Freshwater mussels are one of the best indicators of water quality. The molluscs are returning to some waterways in France.

There used to be species of mussels in all rivers. However, because they are very sensitive to pollution, they were not able to reproduceand have virtually disappeared. A mussel can live up to 200 years. Recently, young mussels have been discovered once more in some rivers.

Populations are reappearing in the Adour, Drôme, Vienne, Charente and somewhat in the Garonne Rivers. This is a sign that the quality of the water has improved.

Anti-pollution plans are producing results, though they are not yet perfect. There is a national plan for the conservation of mussels; when a company wants to build a dam or a building at the water’s edge, it must create passages and develop the banks to preserve mussels.

For more information on freshwater mussels and other molluscs, click here.

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