Despite the poor results of the first attempts, pearl cultivation is a rich and thriving business that produces every year a big revenue. Unfortunately, for this reason, it has been amplyfied causing a savage colture which has yet begun to compromise the growth of the precious oysters.
In 1994, to obviate to this limitless exploitation and create a free oasis of proliferation, Tiffany & Co. Foundation, along with the Vermont University and in partnership with COBI, has created the Sustainable Pearls project to establish a controlled cultivation and to preserve the marine fauna in the Pacific areas.
The situation was terrible, a decimated population with only 88 Pinctada mazatlantica and 54 Pteria Sterna, because of the rarity of these types of pearls that caused a brutal ravage.
Thanks to the cages used in this project, results didn’t wait to come, becoming not only a good instrument to protect the oysters but also a great way to help them reproduct in an easier way: the neighborhood is essential and this element fails in nature, making them survive only 10 egg cells out of 1 milion.
The data collect in the latest years have showed positive results even for the surrounding marine fauna that considerably grew thanks to the cages and the seaweeds which grew on them, attracting many invertebrats and fish.
Albeit the frequent attempts of illegal fishing in this regenerated areas, this project goes on involving more and more pearl businesses all around the world in order to promote a responsible cultivation along with great environmental and socio-economical benefits.