7 Things You Didn’t Know About Oyster and Pearl Farming
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Have you ever wondered where those beautiful pearls come from? Well, genuine pearls come from oysters, and oysters come straight from the farm. Yes, oysters are farmed, and it is probable that if you didn’t know this information about pearls or oysters, you don’t know about the following facts either. (Related topics: independent pearl consultant, pearl oyster suppliers)
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1. Pearl farmers are incredibly patient. The minimum time for harvesting an oyster is 2 years. Their market size is 4 inches and getting there takes around 24 months. Now, when it comes to pearls, it takes even longer. Freshwater pearls can take between one and 6 years to grow inside the oyster while saltwater pearls need 5 to 20 years to do so.
2. Pearl and oyster farming have an incredibly small footprint on the environment if you compare them to other farming practices. However, this doesn’t mean it’s cheaper. In fact, just three acres – which are approximately 250 thousand oysters – can cost $200,000.
3. Pearl and oyster farmers are kinder to the environment than other seafood farmers. Whereas five pounds of wild fish are necessary to produce one pound of edible salmon, it takes zero pounds of anything to make oysters as they only need water in order to grow. A single oyster can filter about 50 gallons of water a day which also helps keep the whole region healthy.
4. Oyster and Pearl farmers don’t use any fancy machinery for harvesting oysters. They harvest everything by hand and, if anything, they use some surgical-level manual equipment such as nippers and other instruments that are necessary for removing the pearls from the oysters without harming the latter.
5. Since oysters live in underwater cages or racks, oyster farmers operations also help other critters by providing them shelter in which crab and fish can stay safe from predators.
6. Oysters absorb carbon and turn it into calcium carbonate in order to strengthen and grow their shells but, furthermore, they absorb nitrogen. A three-acre oyster farm can account for the nitrogen waste of up to 35 people, which can have a very positive impact on the planet.
7. Oyster and Pearl farmers have a small and united community. They meet up at conventions every year or at parties like the Billion Oyster Party, where farmers from all over the country show up with their harvest and get together with oyster enthusiasts to talk and compare notes.
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