Coastal Fisheries Programme
Number 18 - November 2008


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

Welcome to the 18th issue of the Pearl Oyster Information Bulletin, albeit somewhat later than anticipated. Much of the delay results from my involvement in a new book — dedicated to pearl oysters — which was recently published by Elsevier. The iconic "Gervis and Sims" has been the major reference source for pearl oyster biology and culture since it was published in 1992, but there has been a considerable volume of research on pearl oysters over recent years, particularly the past decade. This new book deals comprehensively with all aspects of pearl oyster biology and culture, pearl formation and current market trends, and provides an overview of recent research in this field. More details of the book’s contents and contributors are given in the Abstracts and New Publications section of this issue.

The Industry Notes and Reports section of this issue contains an interesting overview of recent influences and developments in the global pearl culture industry, as well as excerpts from the 4th International Gemological Symposium, and a report on recent pearl auctions. Closer to home, this section also contains an update on pearl production and sales in Fiji, and developments in the Cook Islands. The Research Notes and Report section contains an interesting article from Mexico reporting on gametogenic activity in mantle tissue of pearl oysters, as well as a report on pearling research in Tonga. Again, I would like to invite contributions to the above sections of the Bulletin, particularly reports or articles relating to pearl industries and research in the Pacific Islands region. We encourage submission of longer articles, updates from research groups, and country statements, where appropriate. The required format for larger articles submitted to the Bulletin can be found on SPC’s website at:

More than 100 publications on pearl oysters were added to scientific databases over the past couple of years, representing significant research output. It is interesting to note the high (and increasing) proportion of publications from China, and the large volume of papers relating to aspects of biomineralization and molecular aspects of pearl oyster biology. This issue contains an abbreviated list of abstracts from these publications. As usual, this and all previous issues of the bulletin are available in PDF format on SPC’s website. Please note that the SPC fisheries digital library is now available on SPC’s website ( The digital library gives access to electronic  versions (in PDF format) of more than 6600 fisheries and aquaculture-related documents (in English and French) produced by, for, or in collaboration with SPC. This digital library is full text searchable. Finally, I would like to thank the dedicated staff of SPC’s Fisheries Information and Publication sections, who maintain the high quality of this publication.

Happy reading!

Paul Southgate


Industry Notes and Reports (pdf: )

Cultured pearls in the 21st Century: A free market and new looks - by R. Shor

Abstracts from the 4th International Gemological Symposium

Justin Hunter and Pearls Fiji

Pearl auctions

Poe Vira Vira — Cook Islands Pearl Industry Newsletter

Research Notes and Reports

Support for the Tongan pearl industry
Teitelbaum A., Fale P.N. (pdf: 422 KB)
Does gametogenesis occur naturally in pearl oyster mantle tissue?
Suacedo P.E., Gómez-Robles E. (pdf: 247 KB)
Pearl farming in Zanzibar
Jiddawi N. (pdf: 181 KB)
New Publications (pdf: )

Download the complete publication:

Pearl Oyster #18 (pdf: )

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