Coastal Fisheries Programme
Number 17 - November 2006


Editor Paul Southgate, School of Marine Biology & Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld. 4811, Australia. Fax: +61 7 4781 4585 

Production: Information Section, Marine Resources Division, SPC, PO BOX D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia Fax (687) 263818)

Produced with financial assistance from Australia, France and New Zealand

From the editor

We are back! It has been a long time coming, but here is the 17th issue of the SPC Pearl Oyster Information Bulletin.

I have assumed the duties of Editor and I would like to thank Neil for the fine job he did as Editor of all previous issues of the Bulletin since 1990. The Bulletin will maintain the same general format that was developed by Neil with a few minor changes. In particular, we encourage submission of longer articles and will be seeking regular updates from major research groups and country statements, where appropriate. The required format for larger articles submitted to the Bulletin can be found on the SPC website at: This website also provides access to previous issues of the Bulletin.

This is a large issue given the two and a half years since the last one. There were pearl oyster sessions at the past two World Aquaculture Society Annual Conferences in Honolulu (2004) and Bali (2005). Abstracts from the Bali meeting are included in this issue together with a large number of abstracts from the scientific literature. Of note in these sections of the Bulletin is the increasing importance of research on pearl oyster genetics and this is further illustrated by abstracts from the IAGA International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture, held in Montpelier, France (June 2006).

In the last issue of the Bulletin, Neil commented on the "green" aspects of pearl farming — a theme continued here. As well as abstracts reporting the potential bioremedial benefits of pearl oyster culture, an article in the "Research Notes and Reports" section describes how half-pearl production is contributing to the management plan of a marine reserve in Tanzania. Environmental benefits in the form of increased biodiversity have also been reported at pearl farming sites in the Philippines where an improved environment is thought to result in higher pearl quality. This issue also contains an article outlining innovative technologies adopted at Manihiki as part of a programme to monitor and manage the lagoon environment to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry. Articles in the “Industry Notes & Reports” section outline trends in production and demand, and report increasing global pearl production. This is highlighted by figures suggesting that production of Australian whites in 2006 will be more than double that in 2000! Good sales have been reported in the past year, although demand has not kept pace with production.

This issue also contains a summary of the SPC Regional Pearl Meeting, held in Fiji in December 2005. Given the high level of interest in further development of commercial pearl production within the region, this meeting allowed a timely overview of production and research activities and identification of bottlenecks and common development goals. The meeting generated a number of recommendations, which were presented to the SPC Heads of Fisheries Meeting in Noumea in April, 2006. They covered issues such as policy, networking and information, marketing, research and development, infrastructure and training.

We are aiming for two issues of the Bulletin per year and I encourage submission of articles that will help us achieve this. We welcome longer research-type articles, reports from researchers and research groups, and articles outlining pearling activities in member countries as well as your comments and any other interesting news. I look forward to hearing from you.

Paul Southgate


Industry Notes and Reports (pdf: )

Scanning the pearl world

Golay's global view

Risen from the ashes

A new pearl group attempt: But will it succeed?

Akoya pearl culture development in Hervey Bay 

Research Notes and Reports

SPC Regional Pearl Meeting, December 2005, Fiji
Ponia B. (pdf: 347 KB)
Pearls of wisdom
Heffernan O. (pdf: 99 KB)
Pearls from Africa
Southgate P., Rubens J., Kipanga M., Msumi G. (pdf: 206 KB)
Pohnpei Pearl Project enters commercial phase
Dennis K. (pdf: 95 KB)
Abstracts and New Publications (pdf: )

Download the complete publication:

Pearl Oyster #17 (pdf: )

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