A tiny piece of mantle cut from another oyster and a nucleus are placed into a pearl oyster by making a tiny cut into the reproductive organ of an oyster. The nucleus,a small bead of oyster shell, is placed into this tiny hole and the a tiny piece of mantle tissue is then placed behind it.
The best material to use for this is the shell of the North American mussel because it is least likely to be rejected by the oyster.This graft will form a pearl sac and calcium carbonate will be deposited, layer by layer like onionskins, into this pocket around the nucleus to form the pearl.
After being seeded, the
oysters are returned to the holding area
in their panels for further recovery. After several
months later the shells are transported,
sometimes up to 2,000 nautical miles away, to
remote farming bases.
At the farms, the panels holding the oyster shells
are hung on long lines supported by buoys. They are looked after every day day by farm workers who carry out the
intensive for up to two years before they are harvested. Each oyster can now be seeded at least three times during its productive life producing a pearl every two years.