A pristine and thriving ecosystem offers pearl oysters the nutrients, water quality and shelter they need for healthy growth. It is key to producing high-quality cultured pearls.
Pearl oyster mortality episodes in Japan, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands in recent decades have shown that farming practices and ecological changes can have serious effects on the pearling industry. Factors such as elevated temperatures, salinity changes, particulate organic matter (POM) concentrations and potential disease agents can have fatal impacts on oyster health. The main potential ecological impacts of pearl farming are linked to unsustainable oyster stocking densities and the influence this can have on the (benthic) environment, alongside human impacts associated with pearl farming (e.g. buildings).