Pearling

 

PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR RECENT MEDIA STATEMENTS AND RELATED DOCUMENTS ON PEARL INDUSTRY SAFETY.


Pearling combines the wild-harvest of the world’s largest pearl oyster – Pinctada maxima – with aquaculture techniques to grow pearls in the oysters. 

 

The pearl oysters are collected by hand, by divers, from the pristine coastal waters of the Kimberley and Pilbara. They are also reared in hatcheries, which reduces the reliance on wild-stocks.

 

Pearling has an average annual value of $120 million and is the second most valuable Western Australian fishing industry.

The industry is governed by statutory regulations which cover areas including fishing management licences for divers and vessel operators, the environmental management of pearling, marine safety, industrial relations and occupational health and safety.

 

A total allowable catch quota for wildstock pearl oysters is set each year by the Department of Fisheries to maintain sustainability. 17 licensees hold the individual transferable quota units. The fishery has successfully passed an independent Ecological Sustainable Management audit by the Commonwealth Government.


Licensed pearling companies fishing and farming the oyster species Pinctada maxima in Western Australia and Northern Territory are members of the Pearl Producers Association (PPA).


The PPA represents and supports its members across a range of issues, preparing industry wide contribution to regulatory developments and research, both directly and through submissions, as well as representing all members at the departmental, ministerial and community levels when required.

 

RESPONSE TO ABC FOUR CORNERS PROGRAM


The ABC’s Four Corners has produced a program on safety in the pearling industry.


The PPA has provided Four Corners with a full statement outlining the industry’s safety facts, pearl diving operations and safety measures. Four Corners has also received the Industry’s Dive Induction Course Strategy and the Pearl Dive Industry Induction Course Presentation.


These documents, the Pearl Diving Industry Code of Practice and a related media release can be downloaded here:

 

 

For more PPA information, contact Brett McCallum at the

 Pearl Producers Association

 

Paspaley has also provided a media statement in response to the Four Corners program which can be downloaded here:
 

PASPALEY STATEMENT

 

 

Further resources:

 

Safe Work Australia’s Decision Regulation Impact Statement for National Harmonisation of Work Health and Safety Regulations and Codes of Practice 7 November 2011: See section 6.6.9 on “Diving Work”. 

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2011L02804/Supporting%20Material/Text 

An Economic Analysis of Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC) Investment in Workplace Health and Safety – pearl industry case study

 http://www.frdc.com.au/research/benefits/BCA13-Workplace-safety

Commonwealth Government Ecological Sustainable Management

http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/fisheries/wa/pearl/submission-july08.html