1st - 3rd Feb 2017
Ministry of Fisheries Aquaculture staffs completed four pearl farming workshops for the mabe' pearl farmers of Ha'apai. The workshops involved teaching the pearl farmers how to efficiently manage their farms and maintain their oysters.
The Aquaculture staffs also worked with the pearl farmers to seed their oysters to grow their very first mabe' pearls. The workshops were attended by over 20 pearl farmers and community memebers and were held in the communities of Pangai, Felemea, 'Uiha and Uoleva. During the workshop 22 oysters were seeded and are expected to yield over than 70 mabe' pearls for Ha'apai's first harvest in February 2018.
Ministry of Fisheries staff also inspected the health of the pearl oysters throughout Ha'apai. The pearl oysters exhibited excellent growth and survival across all of the farms. The exceptional results of the visit indicate that the mabe' pearl industry in Ha'apai is progressing well and shows great potential to provide income and livelihood benefits for the communities of Ha'apai. These recent successes are largely due to the successful partnership between the new pearl farmers, the Ministry of Fisheries staffs and staff from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and the University of the Sunshine Coast.