Pearling is one of the few economic activities to emphasize conservation, linking environmental well-being with economic development. Populations of fish and marine life are coming back to areas where pearl farms move in. Quotas, enacted to protect wild populations of mollusk, are stimulating endangered species and keeping our oceans strong. It’s a good day to wear pearls.
Good for the Environment
As organic gems, pearls are closely tied to the success of the environment from which they come. Like canaries in a coalmine, oysters signal change. Their health, and ultimately pearl formation, is dependent on pristine, diversity-rich waters. But pearl farmers do more than just demand thriving ecosystems; they help create them.
Baskets and nets from which oysters are suspended filter waste from the water and offer protection for marine life. Oysters themselves filter liters of water for impurities and sediment. Under the vigilant eye of the pearl farmer, who constantly monitors for pollution and disease, entire ecosystems develop.
Pearl companies are at the forefront of sustainability. For years, the industry has been working to establish marine preservation areas, regenerate coral and reef environments, and promote controlled, sustainable farming practices. The industry further advocates against deforestation, which spurs devastating runoff.
Good for the Economy
This commitment to the environment goes hand-in-hand with good business. Pearl farming offers a solution to many isolated islands and ocean-based economies – the most sensitive to climate change and marine habitat destruction – that otherwise have limited economic opportunities.
By educating locals on sustainability and good fishing techniques, pearl companies are starting to regenerate entire communities and drive income. In these areas, pearls are one of the most valuable commodities, only rivaled by tourism for revenue generation. The industry is taking bold steps to eradicate poverty and train a workforce, without the over-exploitation of natural resources.
This symbiotic relationship between man and nature is creating some of the world’s most beautiful gems in a manner that both respects and sustains the environment.