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Cost–benefit analysis of two culture methods that influence pearl production from the black-lip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera

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Johnston, W. L., Hine, D., Kishore, P. and Southgate, P. C. (2019) Cost–benefit analysis of two culture methods that influence pearl production from the black-lip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, 50 (3). pp. 510-521.


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/jwas.12594

Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jwas.12594


The black-lip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera, used for round pearl production in Polynesia, is generally cultured using “ear-hanging” where they are attached to a rope to form “chaplets.” In other countries, pearl oysters are cultured using panel (pocket) nets that are more expensive than chaplets but afford more protection to cultured oysters. Prior research has shown panel nets produce pearls of higher quality and value, potentially generating higher profits. This study used cost–benefit analysis to compare pearl production using chaplet-based and panel net-based culture methods. Whole farm data, including gross revenues and annual production costs, fixed and variable, were analyzed. Average production cost per pearl using panel net-based culture was USD 22.47 and for chaplet-based culture was USD 21.55. However, use of panel nets saved around 3,430 hr (USD 6,860) of labor a year, offsetting the greater capital investment. A chaplet-based pearl farm generated USD 65,738 in annual profits compared to USD 88,774 for a panel net-based farm. Positive cash flow was achieved 1 year earlier (Year 7) for the panel net-based farm. This is the first economic analysis of different pearl culture methods for P. margaritifera and evidence of profitability will support further development of the black-lip pearl industry in the Indo-Pacific region.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Agriculture
Additional Information:#
Keywords:Fiji Islands, pearl culture, pearl economics, pearl‐farming profitability, pearl quality
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Aquaculture and Fisheries > Aquaculture > Shellfish culture
Live Archive:08 Mar 2019 04:57
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:45

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