Scottish Mussel Poaching Movie Coming Out Soon

Talulah Riley and Scottish Mussel co-star Martin Compston

Talulah Riley and Scottish Mussel co-star Martin Compston

A new romantic comedy involves one of Scotland's most notorious forms of wildlife crime - freshwater pearl mussel poaching. Scottish Mussel's writer, director and star Talulah Riley hopes the movie draws greater attention to the plight of one of the world's most endangered molluscs.

For her directorial debut, actress Riley plumbed new depths - the chilly, fast-flowing rivers of the Scottish Highlands.

Her film's story centres on the illegal harvesting of freshwater pearl mussels.

Scotland is one of the few places in the world where Magaritifera margaritifera continues to be under serious threat from poachers.

Hundreds of dead mussels, their shells broken open by people hoping to find a rare pearl, have been found in recent years on riverbanks in the Highlands and Western Isles.

Riley got the idea for the script from her crime writer father Doug Milburn.

"My dad is Scottish and he is always sending me stories about Scotland," she said.

"Years ago he sent me a story from a newspaper on freshwater pearl mussel poaching.

"In writing the script I did a lot of research on the internet, but also got help from Peter Cosgrove, who is an expert on freshwater pearl mussels. He also gave us some poached shells for use in the film."

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