Fiji: Local Employment
Pearl farming in Fiji has been around for several decades. However, larger efforts to culture pearls began in 2000 as Justin Hunter established the J. Hunter Pearls Fiji company on the island of Vanua Levu. 2012 production was estimated to be 30,000 pearls (Strack, 2011).
The main farm is located in the town of Savusavu on Vanua Levu. The farm has sought close links to surrounding villages and employs numerous locals at different levels of its pearling activities. Because the main farm is located in a relatively populated area it is heavily dependent on local support to fullfil its vision of Pearling Conservancy in protecting the local environment to ensure optimum conditions for pearl oyster growth.
Impact: Rather than using mechanised technology for regular cleaning of oysters, the farm has chosen to employ local villagers in spat collection, nursery and husbandry activities. This has led to the creation of around 50 jobs in the rural Fiji community of Savusavu, thereby also creating greater environmental awareness in the area.
For more information on the Justin Hunter Pearls Fiji farm see http://www.fijipearls.com/