Project number: 2008-328.15
Project Status:
Completed
Budget expenditure: $7,350.00
Principal Investigator: Ian Crisp
Organisation: Broken Bay Pearls
Project start/end date: 24 Oct 2011 - 31 Jul 2012
Contact:
FRDC

Need

BBP has invested heavily in an Akoya pearl farm in NSW, and this has been a high-risk venture. We see that our biggest challenges in the current economic climate are the maintenance of profitability in a depressed pearl market and the continued development our workforce skill base. In comparison to other Australian pearl operations, BBP cost of pearl oyster production is low and so major opportunities for profitability increase lie in improvements in the percentage of saleable pearls and increased pearl quality. These factors are a function of the skill of the pearl technician. BBP’s lead technician Rosanna Crisp was trained by an ex Port Stephens Pearl technician, and obtained further training from a visiting Japanese expert, but both experts recognised need for seeding protocols to adapt to NSW conditions. Rose has reached the point where further tuition and the opportunity to discuss potential modifications to techniques would be highly beneficial. Through benchmarking BBP seeding technology against that of international technician we hope to both quantify potential improvements in seeding success and work towards realising those improvements. Rose would then be instrumental in the disseminating those skills and techniques to others within BBP.

The technician to be employed works regularly in WA and we hope that experience gained in NSW would then in return be available to Abrolhos farmers. BBP looks forward to maintaining close links with WA pearl producers.

Objectives

1. To increase profitability through increased pearl quality
2. To benchmark current technical skills against international best practice.
3. To reduce post opperative losses
4. To increase nuclei retention rates.
5. To increase the percentage of saleable pearls per crop.

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