A Few Interesting Facts about Pearl Farming
Pearl farming is a kind of industry who is responsible to graft pearl mollusks and to produce cultured pearls. Most of these pearls sold in the market are cultured pearls as natural pearls are very rarely available today.
All cultured pearls are produced in pearl farms where several thousand of oysters are nucleated. They are then taken care of for 2 to 5 years as pearls are required to grow in order to develop.
Pearl farming will depend both on luck as well as on skill. Due to any uncontrollable and unpredictable factors, the entire oysters can get completely devastated. Following are few things can be detrimental for pearl farming.
- Water pollution
- Excessive cold or heat
- Severe storms
- Any kind of disease
- Any other natural or man-made phenomena.
Though pearl farmers will try to control as much possible but it can indeed be very risky business.
Modern techniques for pearl farming
The pearl production process will start from obtaining oysters which are to be nucleated. During the earlier days, oysters were collected from sea.
Though few farmers still continue to use this method even today, but people use more modern practice to breed their own oysters.
In order to do this, pearl farmers collect oyster sperms and eggs out of high-quality oysters that are already present on the farm. Sperm are used for fertilizing the eggs, and thus a new generation is created for larvae of oyster.
How oysters are then raised in the pearl farm
The larvae that are created allowed to float in the water freely, under very controlled conditions, till they are about few weeks old.
The larvae in the wild, will then attach themselves in certain rock or any other similar object. Over a period of few months, larvae will develop into a baby oyster.
Then they are generally moved into separate “nursery” area in the farm. They are tended here for about 1 to 2 years, till they have sufficiently grown large that can be nucleated.
The nucleation process in pearl farming
This process of nucleation involves a surgical procedure, where a foreign object will be implanted into oyster. This object may cause irritation, which the oyster will counteract by secreting nacre in order to gather around the object, which will produce the pearl.