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Cultured Freshwater Pearls
by: Anonymous

Hey Sagar, there's an old saying among pearl farmers, "you don't choose a pearl, it chooses you". The following info on Fresh Water Pearls might be useful. FWP are a type of Cultured pearl. Good luck with your pearling venture!

Freshwater Pearls are small, often irregularly shaped pearls that are grown in various species of freshwater mussel. They are produced by introducing twenty or more tiny tissue grafts into the thick mantle of a live mussel.

Freshwater pearls generally have a lower proportion of organic material in their nacre than pearls from marine pearl oysters. This give freshwater pearls a glassy lustre. They can also be colour treated to produce a broad range of colours including blues, greens and purples. Several hundred tonnes of freshwater pearls are grown in China each year. They are not nearly as expensive as the Australian Pearl and are a very popular and an appealing alternative.

Geoffrey Keus

How Australian Pearl Farming Works
by: Anonymous

The Australian cultured pearling industry currently grosses over $200 million per annum. The industry is carefully managed through catch and seeding quotas to maintain the pearl oyster resource. An annual quota of 600,000 "wild" collected shell is allocated between the 19 pearl farming licenses in Australia, 18 of which are located in Western Australia.

Divers "drift" over the oyster beds of the Australian North West coast between January and March each year to collect "Wild" caught shell for use on Farm for Pearl production. As an industry we are restricted to collecting no more than 572,000 oysters of a minimum legal size of 120mm. Oyster are housed in Pearl panels and rested for a period of 4 months on a bottom lease. However, heavy investment into research by Australian companies has led to an increased production of hatchery produced Pinctada maxima with a minimum legal size of 90mm. This technique reduces the cost and hazards of collecting wild shell whilst allowing more control over oyster growth, health and production.

Hatchery and wild oysters are held in large re-circulating tanks onboard seeding vessels prior to their first operation. Oysters are relaxed and "pegged" open to allow a pearl technician to perform the operation in a sterile room onboard the vessel.

Highly trained pearl technicians perform the delicate seeding operation. A small nucleus formed from the shell of the Mississippi mussel is inserted into an incision in the oysters gonad. The nucleus is coupled with a piece of nacre secreting mantle tissue. The shell is then safely housed within a protective pearl panel and placed in the ocean.

During their two years on a "farm" the oysters are cleaned and nurtured before being examined by pearl technicians who hope to find a large and lustrous south sea pearl.

Pearl technicians are highly skilled and highly paid professionals, performing up to 500 operations a day during harvest time. They generally work for 3 months annually and can earn in excess of AU$100,000 for this period. Technicians have been predominantly Japanese however the success of the Australian industry has lead to increased diversification with Australian technicians now more common.

Freshwater Pearl Farming in India
by: Anonymous


the following account of freshwater pearl farming in India, might generate some ideas for you. Desai, was a farmer having 40 acres land in his village, and was looking for diversification from traditional business of agriculture.

In 2003, he contacted Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwa Vidhalaya, Bilaspur, which has developed a technology of freshwater pearl farming. He also underwent a 15-day training at Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture in Bhubneswar in 2004 and started pearl farming on his land.

Desai said:

"We had to use mussels from nearby areas to maintain proper environment and get better yield. I first started the pearl farming in five acres area of the pond and later increased it to 10 acres,"

The astonishing thing is, Desai went on to develop a huge 48 carat cultured pearl that was auctioned by Sotheby's in London in 2008!

Hope this helps.
PS. enjoyed the old pearl farming video


Starting A Cultured Pearl Farm in India
by: Anonymous

Hi Sagar

thanks for your very good questions regarding Pearl Farming in India!
Pearl farmers or experts in the area of pearl farming please dive in... In the meantime, we can start this thread off Sagar by providing a little general background info, in the way of an old video we discovered about the pearl farming business.

best wishes,

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