Sometimes we have people that ask: “How can you be so evil to the poor little pearl oysters? Why don’t you leave them alone?” and of course, there are a myriad of reasons for why a Sustainable Pearl Farming operation is a good thing for the pearl oysters and for the Environment in general.
In this document I will try to address some of these, hopefully being able to convey the 5 reasons why Pearl Farming is good for the oysters and their environment:
- Pearl oysters have been depleted due to over-fishing, and a Pearl farm acts as a “Noah’s ark” for these species. In the Gulf of California, these oysters have been fished for some 500 years and thus, the animals have been unable to recover from the predatory effect; having the oysters protected and secluded inside our pearl farm offers them the possibility to breed successfully and to continue with the growth of their populations. You see, in Nature, you require to have at least 10 Pearl oysters in 1 square meter for them to successfully breed, but since they have been fished out there are no longer at these densities in nature. On the other hand, inside our pearl farm, they sometimes are grown at densities of 300 oysters per square meter, meaning that they can successfully breed, and these baby Pearl oysters will propagate to the entire area since they don’t just stay inside our pearl farm.
- Pearl farming offers Pearl oysters a chance to Survive. You see, in Nature only 1 oyster out of every 1 Million born survives to adulthood; whereas inside our Pearl farm, the Pearl oysters actually have a chance of having a much higher survival rate -usually in between 50 to 80%- so, as you can see our Pearl farm offers Pearl oysters a much higher chance of actually living and eventually breeding and leaving a legacy behind: many descendants and…the pearl!
- In Nature, Pearl oysters are under the constant threat of parasites, predators, and fishermen. In our Pearl farm, Pearl oysters are continuously taken care of, carefully hand-cleaned and have a much better life expectancy. These are happy and stress-free oysters!
- The “Rainbow Lipped Pearl Oyster” (or Pteria sterna) is a short-lived animal. Most of the oysters live about 5 years and then die. When we harvest our Cortez Pearls, our 4-year-old Rainbow Lips are almost at the end of their normal lifespan and have been able to breed in our farm for at least 6 times. They have enjoyed a full life.
- There is never any waste: The main reason behind growing pearl oysters is to obtain the pearl of course, but many oysters don’t produce high-quality pearls. Some 70% of the Oysters don’t produce good pearls. So, was it all a waste of time? Not really, since the oysters did manage to breed, and we do obtain other valuable sub-products:
- Mother of Pearl shell: used to produce jewelry and inlays, as well as mother-of-pearl cream.
- The oyster’s meat is a delicacy! It looks and tastes very much like a scallop, so it is used and sold as food.
- Natural pearls: Very few natural pearls can be sometimes obtained from our farm-raised oysters.
So, as you have now learned, a Sustainable Pearl Farm is a very positive thing for the Environment and for the Pearl Oysters.