Fiji Pearl Industry Gets Support Of World Jewelry Confederation

Sector wants to develop as a leader for 'environmental and social responsibility'

By Luke Rawalai

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 11, 2017) – The World Jewellery Confederation has pledged its support for Fiji's efforts to develop it's pearl industry and become a leader environmental and social responsibility.

In a meeting with the confederation's president Dr Gaetano Cavalieri, Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau outlined Government's long-term plan for its pearl sector. The pair met in Hong Kong and Mr Koroilavesau reiterated the goal to make Fiji a significant producer of high-quality pearls of distinctive appearance and character.

He said in Fiji, pearls were not simply jewels of the ocean but also represented the promise of a better and sustainable future.

"Fiji, which is a relative newcomer to the South Pacific pearl industry, is home to a growing perliculture sector, which in 2017 is forecast to produce about 30,000 pearls," Mr Koroilavesau said.

"The country's Ministry of Fisheries, which has jurisdiction over the sector, is strategically committed to developing the economic potential of the country's marine sources, ensuring that such activities are environmentally sustainable and have wide-ranging positive social impacts."

He invited Dr Cavalieri to join the Fijian delegation at the World Oceans Day Session at the United Nations in New York on June 8, where its plan for an environmentally and socially sustainable national pearl sector would be publicly presented.

Meanwhile Dr Cavalieri said Fiji was an exciting prospect for the industry apart from its already proven ability to produce pearls of exceptional quality.

"Its pearl industry will flourish also through the respect it shows for the marine environment, and through the support it provides the farming communities and their stakeholders," he said.

"The confederation is proud to be associated with such an enterprise."

Fiji Times Online.
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