Raviravi pearl techinician Adi Dionani Salaivuna seeds oysters for observers
PEARL production has doubled for Navatudua Investment Limited in the past three years says pearl technician Adi Dionani Salaivanua.
The Raviravi pearl farm located about 125 kilometres away from Labasa town, seeded about 500 oysters in 2008 and currently seeds more than 1000 per annum.
The team was part of the showcase at the World Fisheries Day celebrations in Labasa yesterday.
Ms Salaivanua said village members at the farm have had successful productions ever since they started marketing the pearls.
"We used to sell oysters to Pearls Fiji for $4 a kilo. This carried on for one and a half years then we decided to take on the challenge ourselves. Now we sell it to tourists that come to Nukubati Island Resort and sometimes wholesale pearls to jewelers from abroad. The prices range from $50 and $500 depending on the grade of pearls."
The company purchased its only set of seeding tools for $7000 three years ago and look forward to a new and advanced set of seeding tools.
"The village members help with the cleaning of oysters, drilling, harvesting and the deployment of spat collectors. These attract baby oysters called spat," she said.
She said they plan to extend the farm.It takes about 18 months to prepare oysters for harvest.
"We also plan to extend our farm and buy more oysters from villagers popularly collected from the reefs in Galoa and Macuatawai."
According to Ms Salaivanua it takes about 18 months to prepare oysters for harvest.