Pearls – a beacon of hope for the ocean!
A revered gem in its natural form from the ocean is now at risk from climate change and coastal habitat destruction. Yet pearl farming provides a protective veneer and support for marine ecosystems.
Pearls rely on the healthiest and most pristine water ecosystems, encouraging environmental conservation as the bedrock of the industry. Pearl farming today can provide the financial incentives and engagement of local communities to ensure environmental conservation of the ocean and its marine life. The industry of cultured pearls is seen as a path to sustainable development that incorporates human and marine life in synergy.
A jewellery war: diamonds V pearls
For the last 2000 years pearls have been symbols of beauty of the gem and their beholders.
With their height of popularity in the era of Gatsby – the 1920s, when women were adorned with strings upon strings of pearls, pearls were pushed to the side as a mass marketing empire entered the jewellery industry. In come De Beers in the 1920s who created a symbol of love – the diamond wedding ring, placing them on every women’s fingers. However, along the way the industry has been destroying the environment, committing human rights abuses, and pilfering African nations leaving them enraged in war and corruption. Don’t get me wrong, every girl loves a diamond… or two but it is important to see beyond the shiny gem.
Pearls however represent a life-giving organism for which the whole industry rests upon a healthy and pristine ocean environment. Pearl oysters have also been investigated to remediate coastal ecosystems as they filter the water, leading to increased purity and quality. They can also play a role in carbon regulation as they store some of the excess carbon from the atmosphere.
Climate Change and Pearls
At present, marine biodiversity is facing huge threats in the Pacific region as a result of climate change, overfishing, and unregulated coastal development. The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change predicts that by 2035 the average sea surface temperature will be warmer than any previously recorded, and by 2100 sea temperatures off north-eastern Australia could be at least 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the present average putting marine ecosystems at risk including wiping out the whole pearling industry.
Our actions every day can affect those ecosystems thousands of miles away, and hundreds of metres below sea level. We can all take actions to reduce our carbon footprint to protect the life in the ocean for example moving towards a plant-based diet.
Pearls as a force of life
Pearls represent a gift of the ocean and the water’s ecosystem. So, choose pearls over other gemstones, knowing their benefits to ocean life and the communities that support them, rather than the detrimental and damaging effects of other gems. Understanding the origin behind our clothes and jewellery is important if we are to become conscious citizens.
The underwater world rests upon our actions to protect and preserve it, and the pearl industry is a beacon of hope for ocean conservation. So, put on your pearls and be a symbol of a pristine water ecosystem.
For more information visit: https://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/article/pearl-farming-as-a-sustainable-development-path/or talk to Charlie Barron Pearls! The pearls worn are part of the new Charlie Barron Pearls collection.