16 Dec 2010

Marshall Islands pearl industry is back says govt minister

11:38 am on 16 December 2010

The Marshall Islands Minister of Resources and Development, Mattlan Zackhras, says the pearl industry in the country is back.

Two local governments harvested close to 100,000 US dollars worth of pearls from their lagoons and sold them for thousands of dollars recently.

Officials from both atolls say they have more pearls to sell.

Private pearl farms closed several years ago because they could not get a reliable supply of spat, the baby oysters that produce black lip pearl oysters.

The lack of a working hatchery was a major impediment to the industry growing in the past.

But the College of the Marshall Islands started a oyster hatchery on Majuro which is now working successfully.