Text and regulation of perliculture: the reform of july 2017 and the changes made

The national law Loi du pays n ° 2017-16 of 18 July 2017 regulating the professional activities related to the production and marketing of pearl and pearl products in French Polynesia aims to organize the pearl industry following two years of consultation with the sector . In the long term, the pearl farming sector will be organized thanks to the introduction of measures to manage pearl oyster resources, to valorize the actors of the sector, to control the production and to preserve the environment.

Introduction of production quotas

A global production quota and an individual quota are defined each year. These production quotas will aim to control the production volumes and give a little breath to the lagoons.

The individual production quota will determine the maximum number of cultured pearls that a producer is allowed to produce in a given lagoon and for a calendar year.

To be authorized for sale, cultured pearls must be registered, counted and weighed. The individual quota exceeded, the surplus cannot be authorized for sale.

The thickness of the mother of pearl layer

Suppression of  minimum thickness to reach to be able to sell a pearl. Previously, the pearls had to have a mother of pearl thickness of 0.8 mm minimum around the nucleus (nucleus inserted during the graft) to be sold. Otherwise, they were considered scraps and could absolutely not be marketed in Polynesia or export. The concept of waste is therefore removed with the reform of 2017.

It is still be possible to voluntarily ask for an evaluation of the pearl layer thickness of the crop pearls for free or for a payment according to conditions.

Classification by category: a new category E

The surface quality of the cultured pearl of Tahiti is appreciated by the naked eye according to the state of the surface and the luster:

perfect category: without imperfections and excellent luster,

category A: some light imperfections concentrated and a very good luster at least,

category B: slight imperfections in greater quantity but having a large clean surface and a good luster at least,

category C: light and deep imperfections very obvious but having a relatively clean surface and a minimum average gloss,

category D: light and deep imperfections on a large surface with a low gloss to a minimum,

category E: pearl not falling in the categories above

Now all pearls can be sold regardless of their quality

The import of nucleus

The import of nucleus is subject to the production of an import license.

The import license application form is to be obtained from the import license manager service. Once completed and signed, it must be deposited with the service in charge of pearl farming for technical advice, accompanied by a set of supporting documents that you can find in the arrêté n° 1257 CM of 31/07/2017.

Requirement to report the production of Tahitian cultured pearl

As soon as the pearls are harvested, each producer of pearl products will have to declare all his harvests to the DRM (Marine Resources Department).

Statements required for all professionals

All professionals in the pearl industry are required to keep a record of purchases and sales of pearls and cores to report their inventories, purchases and sales to the DRMM.

Mandatory stripping of pearl oysters before transfer

It is mandatory to remove the pearl oysters from the collectors, that is to say to detach the oysters from their support and separate those which are welded together, before any transfer from one lagoon to another.

Polynesian pearl industry and preservation of the environment: supporting changes in partnership with all stakeholders

In recent years, the priority issues of French Polynesia are closely linked to the preservation of Mother earth, particularly the case of the pearl industry, the country’s second economic resource after tourism and present in ten islaqnds for collecting and in about thirty islands and atolls for transplantation and breeding. It does not escape this process of awareness, awareness and concrete actions to support professionals in this transition. Although the awareness is for some recent and faces economic constraints in the short term, the preservation of the environment is an approach increasingly assimilated and shared.

For the actors of aquaculture, the question is not only how to produce the most beautiful pearls in beautiful lagoons, but also to ensure ultimately the continuation of this unique and indispensable activity for the islands.

Implementation of management ceilings and ecological ceiling

These ceilings define the authorized areas of production for the production of pearl products and the number of collecting stations for the pearl islands.

Authorized areas of exploitation will be capped according to the ecological characteristics of the lagoons: bathymetry, hydrodynamism, presence of passes and general health of its ecosystem.

The conditions of use of the public domain will also be reviewed towards a strengthening of the obligations of rehabilitation and recycling of waste.

In addition, the clearance of atolls is planned and necessary following the negligence of professionals abandoning in the lagoons nets, plastics, shade and other materials, without any concern for the preservation of the environment and their working tool.

A new governance

The pearl farming council, made up of all the actors of the sector, is part of a participative approach and a real implication in the big decisions which concern the sector.

Local management committees are created in each pearl island.

 Pearls professions: mandatory business cards

All professionals in the sector must have a professional card issued by the country to carry out any activity.