Pearl Farming / Pearl Culture
Pearl farming is an expensive yet lucrative business. In this line of business you need a lot of patience and money. It might take around 2-3 years before the first pearl harvest. In the Philippines you could find pearl farms in Palawan and Mindanao area.
The market side of the business is always there but you need to produce quality pearl. To be able to produce quality pearl you need to have a reliable source of oyster, a suitable suite (no pollution), sufficient fund and a good technician.
Pearly oyster are typically found in the tropic, it is members of the class bivalvia under the phylum mollusca. Commonly they feed on small algae .
Basic info in putting up a farm:
You need to look for a good place to set up your farm. This could be done by physical inspection of the area. Area with natural pearl oyster is a good indication that the area is good for farming. If there is also thriving corals this is a good indication that the area is okay. The farm should be farm from villages or towns, area within a community for sure have pollution and this would be bad for the farm. The current should also be observed stagnant and fast current is not advisable. It should be mild or normal.
It is up to the farm manager to decide whether to buy young oysters ready for grafting or cultivate your own stock. Grafting (see video) is done by putting a shell nucleus and a tissue graft into the pearl oyster. This will then will irritate the oyster and will produce substance that will envelop it and will be the pearl in the long run. The production of the pearl would take around 1-2 year after grafting.
Upon grafting like in humans or animal some of the graft will be rejected or worst case the oyster will die. But generally, most of the grafted oyster will survive and produce a pearl.
This grafted oyster is then placed in a tray and hanged.
After 1-2 years you can then harvest the pearl. Quality pearl (thick)when drilled would not cracked while inferior (thin) pearl when drilled would have cracked areas.
Those which produce good pearl can be grafted again and the ones that produced low quality pearl should be discarded.