Commercial pearl production in Fiji relies on collection of juvenile oysters or ‘spat’ from the wild by deploying ‘spat collectors’ that provided a substrate to which pearl oyster juveniles attach and can later be harvested. This activity engages local communities that sell juvenile oysters to pearl farms. In late February caused significant damage to pearl farming infrastructure across a broad region of Fiji affecting oyster supply to the cultured pearl industry.
The aim of this project was to re-establish research infrastructure at pearl farms and spat collecting communities in Fiji to help re-establish oyster supply to the industry.
Continued revenue from oyster sales or from pearl production was a key component allowing farmers to rebuild their farms and to retain pre-cyclone participation levels in the industry.