Early pearl cultivation was through plantation of nucleus in any wild oysters. Besides this natural process of implanting, few others also use beads for creating larger pearl in much shorter time. Japanese scientists have started using strains of oysters to harvest pearls of very high- lustre, clear and uniform colour. To know more click here.
The culturing processes
By opening any live pearl oyster, technicians can take small shell bead and surgically implant in them a small mantle tissue. Small shell bead becomes the nucleus and around that the oyster will secrete layer of nacre, and this substance forms into a pearl. Such culturing process will need very good skill and precision. An experienced technician can use right tools to make this kind of tiny incisions.
The oysters that are nucleated will quickly return to the sea and they are kept in individual pockets, which are suspended by using floating rafts. Oysters will grow and feed in sheltered bays, which are rich in nutrients. With passing of time, the oysters will secrete lustrous nacre layers around the bead implanted. During winter, these oysters will be moved to warm waters. Technicians will monitor temperature of water and feeding conditions almost regularly at various depths of water and move oysters as per the best growth conditions.
Time to time these pearl-bearing oysters will be lifted from sea in order to clean. Barnacles, seaweed and any other growth will be removed from the shells of the oyster and will be treated with compounds for preventing parasites from injuring any tender flesh of these oysters.
All these precious oysters will be meticulously protected from all possible threats to ensure that finest pearls will come out. However, red-tides of plankton, typhoons and predators will take their toll much before the pearls gets ready for harvesting. Once these oysters are taken back to shore, pearl farmers will take the note of only long-anticipated harvest. Only a very tiny fraction of these oysters produces pearls of high grade, out of many oysters that are nucleated every year. About 50 per cent of these nucleated oysters may not even survive for bearing pearls. Less than 5 percent only can yield pearls of an ideal lustre, shape and colour of right quality.