BLACK PEARLS SUCCESSFULLY CULTURED IN SOLOMONS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 15, 1999 - PACNEWS)---The Solomon Islands harvested 800 black pearls this week.

The black pearls, from Gizo in Western Province, are the first to be successfully cultured under a two-year-old aquaculture farming project.

The farms principal scientist, Dr. Johann Bell, said another farm, in Nor, Western Province, also is being developed as a black pearl center.

The Solomon Islands Agriculture Ministry has not announced the value of the 800 black pearls, but Dr. Bell said the new industry eventually will be of great economic significance to the Solomons.

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