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The Fiji Pearl Development Plan - Creating a Blue Industry
by Ministry of Fisheries, Fiji Pearl Farmers Association, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Fiji (Government)
The Fiji Pearl Development Plan proposes to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in the development of a national, community-based, pearl farming industry. This will enhance the effectiveness of locally managed marine areas, integrated coastal management, and land and sea management programs, while also creating meaningful employment and income generating opportunities for communities involved in pearl farming.

The Fiji Pearl Association (FPA) represents locally owned Pearling Companies in Fiji that have been acknowledged throughout the international jewelry sector, not only for the production of unique, high-quality Fiji Pearls, but also their Corporate Social and Environmental practices. Fiji Pearl Farm Association members have invested significant resources over the last 16 years in research, hatchery development and marketing Fiji Pearls both internationally and locally.

The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) represents national jewellery trade organisations and commercial industry bodies of more than 40 countries. CIBJO is affiliated with the United Nations, having special consultative status in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 2006 and being a member of the UN Global Compact since that same year. According to McKinsey and Co., the jewellery industry has estimated annual global sales of 200 billion and is expected to grow between 5-6 per cent each year, totalling 250 billion by 2020. CIBJO wants to ensure social and environmental sustainability are at the heart of the Pearl Industry, and Fiji can be the first country to accept these principles.

Pearl farming is often described as ecological aquaculture and oysters require pristine water conditions to produce high quality pearls. The Fijian Pearl Oyster is officially classified as an indicator species and is well known to be environmentally sensitive. This is a result of the nature of its filter feeding. Any decline in water quality, therefore, has a direct impact on the oysters health, and reduces the quality of the pearl that is produced.

These proposed village based pearl-farming communities, with their local knowledge and inherent governing (or institutional) structures, will become the stewards of our oceans, as the success of their pearling operations is highly dependent on the preservation of farming conditions. These community-owned pearl farms provide opportunities for coastal villages, especially for woman and young people, to seek employment and build capacity.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
Launch a Fiji Pearl Development Plan to guide sustainable growth of the Fiji Pearl Industry.
Establish incentives and realistic activation mechanisms to support a sustainable aquaculture industry.
Set up the first four community-owned pearl farms as demonstration models for sustainable environment and social, economic development. Incrementally increase up to 20 community-owned pearl farms by 2030 with inshore baseline water quality monitoring and algae identification systems to support and enhance the effectiveness of locally managed marine areas.
Staff / Technical expertise
Fiji Pearl Farmers Association and Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas (FLMMA) Network for community engagement.
Other, please specify
Fijian pearl companies are providing assistance to local communities to plant and implant oysters, while communities are providing staff to look after oyster growth and secure community boundaries. The World Jewelry Confederations has endorsed this concep
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 - 2020
Government: Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. Private Sector: Fiji Pearl Farmers Association Civil Society: Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) Network Academic: University of the South Pacific (USP) Others: World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO)
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Local communities in pearl and oyster industry, general public, private sector, Tourism Fiji, Brand Fiji
Contact information
Aisake Batibasaga, Mr, abatibasaga@fisheries.gov.fj,
Suva, Fiji
Other SDGs
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