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Pearl farming in Hong Kong: enthusiasts restock oyster beds in city waters to revive a 1,000-year-old industry

David Wong (left) and Yan Wa-tat on their oyster raft. Picture: David Wong

Fledgling marine industry seeking to profit from scientific methods and cutting-edge identification technology

By Sarah Lazarus
South China Morning Post
15 Feb 2018


David Wong Chun-kit carefully pushes his knife into an oyster, between the two sides of its shell. He wiggles the blade back and forth to sever the muscle that holds it closed, and then gently prises the shell open. Inside, nestled within the oyster’s slimy folds, is a pearl – lustrous, perfectly spherical and gleaming creamy white in the morning sun.

Wong estimates the pearl to be 7.5mm in diameter. “It’s commercial grade,” he says. “Good for necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings.”

Wong, 38, and his friend, Yan Wa-tat, are hoping to revive Hong Kong’s pearl-farming industry. There have been attempts to farm pearls commer­cially in Hong Kong before, but none were profitable in the long term. Wong and Yan are taking a new approach, however, using scientific techniques and state-of-the-art technology.

Read the complete article here.