As you cruise into Nakama Creek, you may notice lines of buoys and ropes along with several floating barges nestled in the harbour.
While from the surface, it doesn’t look like much; below the surface, thousands of stunning pearls are growing happily in their oyster shells. The product of a labour of one mans love of the ocean.
Justin Hunter started his company over 10 years ago having studied aquaculture in the United States. On returning home to Savusavu, Justin set about turning his vision into reality – that reality is J. Hunter Pearls. He likes to share, and decided to share his dream with local villagers by creating a working partnership with the Savusavu local community and people of Kioa Island.
At both farm sites, women from the village are contracted to harvest spat collectors (the special ropes that hold young oysters) and tie chaplet ropes used to hold adult oysters on the farms.
J. Hunter also employs and trains villagers to work as farm divers. They are in charge of monitoring and checking the oysters to ensure lines do not get tangled underwater. There is also an oyster cleaning crew, responsible for checking on the health of individual oysters and to gently clean each one to ensure they can feed well.
You can take a closer look at the farm by taking a tour on the J. Hunter glass bottom boat. The endless ropes dangling into the nutrient rich waters with oysters growing off them in every direction will amaze you.
Your tour guide will then give you a sneak peak at the pearl farming process and afterward, you are invited to take a look at the polished and set finished products in the dazzling collection, beautifully displayed in the J. Hunter showroom.
In a rainbow of untraditional pearl colouring, from pink, to green, gold and even chocolate coupled with their larger than average sizes, the collection is sold exclusively to Gellner – a prestigious pearl company based in Europe.
It is no wonder that as soon as they go on sale, they are snapped up by the European market.
However, luckily for us, the J. Hunter team has created their own line of jewellery, which is available from the showroom in Savusavu, Prouds Duty Free stores, and select resort boutiques.
A keen marine conservationist, Justin has recently developed an Environmental Code of Practice that accompanies the sale of each pearl.
The Code outlines information on where the pearl was grown and how environmentally consciously it was produced. These little gems are a fantastic example of a community conscious, sustainable business practice that is environmentally friendly to boot!
J. Hunter Pearls Fiji | Savusavu | T: 885 0821 166