Pearls of Fiji in Savusavu
J.Hunter Pearls has farms in Savusavu.
They strive to be a sustainable business that respects local traditions and customs while helping support the community.
They purchase a water lease to farm pearls from owner of the land. Discussions with tribal leaders are done before setting up the farms. This area of water is then restricted so no fishing, anchoring etc in that area. This helps that area to be looked after and not destroyed by development, that means that companies can’t acquire the land, so they can’t cut down mangroves, etc to build new resorts.
Local village men are employed to clean oysters, women collect baby oysters(called spats) off nylon collectors that act as artificial reef for baby oysters to grow, children in village set up nylon collectors and then sell them back to J.Hunter pearls, so these farms are providing income to many of the village members.
J.Hunter Pearls set up a scholarship fund to help send children in the community to collage.
Interesting facts about pearls:
- Oysters are the kidneys of the ocean, filtering more than 15 gallons of water a day, keeping the ocean water cleaner.
- Lip of shell is called the mantle and this shows colour of pearl. The different colours are influenced by vitamins in water, water quality etc.
- Oysters only have one pearl at a time.
- Depending on health of oyster they can have 5-6 pearls in a lifespan. 1st-2nd pearl are a better quality than 5th-6th pearl.
- Highest grade of pearl is called a Gem.
- Marks on pearls are birthmark.
J. Hunter pearls has a Blue pledge, so international pearl farmers come in to check water quality and ensure farming practices are correct.
Exploring the small town of Savusavu, thank goodness it was an overcast day so the sun wasn’t trying to set me on fire but the humidity is still so high!
And you know me, always taking an opportunity to clean! So here I am getting dirty to cleanup!
We also had the opportunity to meet Jean-Michel Cousteau, a pioneer in the conservation industry, he was very excited about our campaign and loved the fact that we were young people trying to make a difference.
Carrying on his fathers legacy “Protect what you love” he realized, “We can’t protect what we don’t understand” and so his organization, Ocean Futures Society, was born, it has done great work in exploring the ocean floor and living by the words, “Protect the Ocean and Protect Yourself”
Another snorkelling opportunity in Savusav.
I came across this clown fish in his anemone. The clown fish is able to live with this anemone in a give and take situation. The clown fish cleans the anemone and the anemone wards off predictors.
This symbiotic relationship is how we should be working with the ocean, let’s hope the world can realise that before it’s too late.