Oyster Hatchery-Spat That Are Grown In-House
When I visited The Fiji Pearl Farm in Savu Savu Fiji, Justin Hunter was beginning to create an in-house oyster hatchery. It is now in full production, I am proud to report. His goal was to selectively reproduce pearl oysters in a man-made environment. However, this is a costly and very technical way to acquire pearl spat.
Because Fiji pearls are grown in a specific subspecies of oyster, having their own hatchery would allow them to reproduce animal of the high value they require for their pearl farming. This also helps to replace the natural pearl population. This is a picture that I took of Justin's very beginning pearl hatchery, but now he has a 6 X 12 meter building with five 4,000 liter larvae tanks! Beyond reproducing the larvae, he has grown his own algae to feed the larvae, spat and brood stock.
Larvae stay in their beginning tanks until they can "settle out" and loose their ability to swim. In about 20 days the mature larvae are placed in smaller tanks where they can settle onto spat collectors (which you learned about in my previous blog) and moved into Broodstock management.