World’s finest pearls thriving in NSW

4 Apr 2018

Staff stand on the shoreline near their oyster lease

A Central Coast operation is achieving international success in producing some of the best Akoya cultured pearls in the world.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Deputy Director General, Fisheries, Dr Geoff Allan, said Broken Bay Pearls is demonstrating the innovation of NSW aquaculture.

“This operation in the sheltered waters surrounding Broken Bay produces some of the best Akoya cultured pearls in the world, which are sold to retail outlets across the state, with the Akoya pearl in high demand globally,” Dr Allan said.

“Broken Bay Pearls is leading the world in terms of quality Akoya production and is leading Australia in terms of a relatively new industry.

“Pearl farms like this one are incredibly valuable to our $70 million aquaculture industry here in NSW.

“The company has developed a range of new techniques to adapt cultured

pearl production to the NSW conditions and it is environmentally friendly.”

The NSW Government has played a role in supporting the operation through the DPI, which has hatchery bred (spawned and raised to 2mm) every oyster the operation has used over the last 15 years.

James Brown, a third generation pearl farmer from Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm north of Broome, Western Australia recently bought into the operation and is now the major shareholder of Broken Bay Pearls.

James is the Managing Director of Cygnet Bay Pearls, a company that has been driving innovation in Australian pearling since founded by his grandfather in 1946. James Brown said the company is excited about the future in NSW.

“It is great to have a presence in NSW, at Cygnet Bay we are Australia's oldest entirely Australian owned and operated pearl farm but Akoya in Broken Bay is a fresh new industry to this country and we are keen to apply our pioneering spirit, innovation and expertise to help realise its potential here in NSW,” Mr Brown said.

“One of the driving forces to invest in NSW was the great support the aquaculture industry gets from the DPI.

“If it hadn't been such a great government-industry partnership I don't think the industry would be where it is today and that collaborative approach gives us great confidence in growing from here.”

Further reading

Media contact: Lyndall Hilder 0409 383 423 or 6391 3686