SUNBIZ

Women Of Ra Province Get Into Half Pearl Production

Pilot half-pearl farms set up in three communities in the Ra province has started to give results. The Ministry of Fisheries, in collaboration with the University of the Sunshine Coast,
10 Oct 2016 10:55
Women Of Ra Province Get Into Half Pearl Production

Pilot half-pearl farms set up in three communities in the Ra province has started to give results.

The Ministry of Fisheries, in collaboration with the University of the Sunshine Coast, has for the past few years carried out pearl oyster research around the country.

This was as part of a project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Under this project, pilot half-pearl farms have been set up in three communities at Raviravi in Macuata, Natuvu in Cakaudrove and Namarai Village in the Ra province.

The project has been titled: “Developing pearl industry-based livelihoods in the western Pacific”.

Now through trainings and workshops, the first batch of half-pearls produced in the ACIAR project were harvested in Raviravi last week.

The village ladies formally known as Navatudua Womens Group were trained on how to implant, culture and manage the oysters before half-pearls were harvested after a period of nine months in the ocean.

The harvested pearls will now be sold to the Ba Women’s Forum where they will be crafted into jewellery and handicraft items that will be available for purchase.

Plans are underway to expand half-pearl culture to other selected communities over the next few years, as half-pearl production promises to offer significant livelihood opportunities.

 

What are half-pearls?

Half-pearls are semi-spherical pearls produced using the winged pearl oyster that is collected as by-catch when harvesting black-lip pearl oysters pearl oysters that are used for round pearl production.

Half-pearls are easier to produce, and do not require the inputs of highly skilled technicians like round pearls.

They are an ideal aquaculture commodity for local coastal communities.

 



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