Where Are Pearl Oysters Found?


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Pearl oysters are classified differently from 'true' oysters which are primarily used as a food source; the pearl oysters are larger in size as compared to true oysters some kinds being as large as dinner plates. There are several species of oysters that can produce pearl but only a few kinds can create pearls that are considered commercially viable.

Some of the well known species are the Gulf Oyster found in the waters of the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, the widely found Black-lip Oyster located in the Indian Ocean around the coasts of Australia as well near the Pacific islands of Fiji and Tahiti and in the Gulf of Mexico, the White-lip oyster found in the Indian Ocean around Australia and Myanmar and in the Pacific around the Philippines, Fiji and Tahiti and the Japanese Pearl oyster found in the Indian Ocean around Sri Lanka and Australia and in the Pacific Ocean around Japan and China.

Pearls are formed when a sand particle or a microscopic creature enters the shell of the oyster which then secretes a quick drying fluid known as nacre which covers the irritant which then solidifies in some cases in to a pearl; the size, shape, color and texture of the pearl is unique to each species. Today pearls are commercially harvested by artificial means by introducing particles in the shells of oysters to initiate the pearl creation process.

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