The Indonesian Pearling Industries
For nearly 400 hundred year, pearls and pearl shells have been the most beautiful objects which have reached the outside world from the many islands of the Indonesian Archipelago.
DEVELOPMENT PEARL CULTIVATION IN INDONESIA
- The trial tests of pearl culture in Indonesia started in Buton, Southeast Sulawesi as from 1921 by a group of Japanese experts led by Dr. M. Fujita, a leading researcher in pearl cultivation.
- The venture was financed by the Mitsubishi Corporation from Japan. The test culture was using the Golden Pearl Oyster (Pinctada Maxima Jameson) collected from the Arafura Sea, specifically around the Aru Islands Group.
- After seven years of trial and error, the test culture finally succeeded in producing rounded pearls with attractive colors and luster.
- Thereafter, the sponsor, Mitsubishi Corporation, established the South Sea Pearl Corp. Ltd. (Nanyo Shinju Kabushiki Kaisha) which was operating the pearl farming business. The operation ended in 1941 due to the World War II.
- In 1958, the trial test activities for pearl culture were resumed by Indonesian researchers and experts from the Indonesian Center for Marine Fishery.
- The efforts were then continued by the Indonesian Research Center for Marine Fishery as from 1962.
- The trial tests for pearl culture of Pinctada Margaritifera were conducted in the Gulf of Jakarta and in Semayang Island, Riau Islands Group.
- The Research Center also tested the pearl culture of Pinctada Lentiginosa in the Kalabahi Gulf, Alor, East Nusa Tenggara.
- The tests did not come out as ex- pected. As from 1960, pearl culture activities were started using wild Pinctada Maxima oysters collected from their natural habitat.
- From 1990s onwards, pearl farming started using adult oysters reared from hatcheries.