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COVID Blessing to Pearl Production

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  • COVID Blessing to Pearl Production

    With COVID happening worldwide and the reduction of fishing, travel, and marine activities our seas are flourishing.

    It would be interesting to see the pearl production numbers for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Hopefully, there will be nicer color effects on the pearl. Just like the California wildfire of 2012, all my aged 2012 wine has a nice smokey taste.

    What do you guys think?

  • #2
    I have been in touch with a few pearl producers and they have reported a very good year indeed.
    Kamoka, Kasumiga and Cortez pearl producers have reported great production, both in quantity and quality.
    In the case of Cortez Pearls, Enrique Arizmendi reported a yield of 6 Kg of pearls this year, about double the production from 2019!

    Finding pearl production figures has been a challenge lately I have been asking people in the industry and the answer is that these have been unavailable.
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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    Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
    Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

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    • #3
      And yet many other farmers haven't grafted as they can't get the technicians to the farm during lock down and quite a number of farmers are trying to sell or close. They are having trouble selling pearls, which means no cashflow which makes it tough to continue for some.
      George Ventouras
      Pearling Technologies
      www.pearlingtechnologies.com

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      • #4
        Thanks for your answer, George. So sad all around.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pearling Technologies View Post
          And yet many other farmers haven't grafted as they can't get the technicians to the farm during lock down and quite a number of farmers are trying to sell or close. They are having trouble selling pearls, which means no cashflow which makes it tough to continue for some.
          My next question, why hasn't grafting been automated? We have vacuum cleaners automated, surgical procedures done remotely, and robot police. Seems like a good time to advance this field of robots for grafting.

          My background is robotics in biotechnology.

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          • #6
            There is a huge stock backlog but it is surprising just how many wholesalers are not adapting to the new reality even after all these months. Most still make it very difficult to order remotely, some don't even answer emails! Given that there is so much unsold stock you'd think prices would fall but generally they are acting as if nothing is changed.
            One or two have adapted and respond well. They are getting the business.
            Author:Pearls A Practical Guide published by Crowood Jan 2021
            www.pearlsapractical.guide

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dobo View Post
              My next question, why hasn't grafting been automated? We have vacuum cleaners automated, surgical procedures done remotely, and robot police. Seems like a good time to advance this field of robots for grafting.

              My background is robotics in biotechnology.
              Interesting field!

              I don't foresee an improvement in this field in quite some time for many reasons:
              1) The "environment" in most pearl farms in quite "unhealthy" for robotics: saltwater is a killer! Probably making the equipment rust-free and sealed will involve prohibitive costs for pearl farmers.
              2) The oysters change their external and outside anatomy greatly, even within their lifespan! It would take a lot of time to help the AI software learn the differences. Maybe it would be easier on Freshwater pearly mussels that the saltwater species...but being done in China where labor is relatively cheap...I just don't see it happening yet.
              3) There is a "Spiritual connection" (you are free to believe otherwise!) between Grafter and Mollusk. I believe this is what helps create better pearls. You can't get this from a machine.
              I performed these small experiments that cannot be called experiments at all by Science (or so I believe): I would seed oysters when I was angry, mad or grateful or very happy...then at harvest I would notice the results and -invariably- I noticed: more pearls, better pearls, and more gem grades when my emotional stance was positive.
              I truly believe there is a kind of Magic that happens when a Person and a Mollusk meet halfway to create beauty int he shape of a pearl.
              Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
              Follow Me!
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              YouTube


              Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
              Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pearlescence View Post
                There is a huge stock backlog but it is surprising just how many wholesalers are not adapting to the new reality even after all these months. Most still make it very difficult to order remotely, some don't even answer emails! Given that there is so much unsold stock you'd think prices would fall but generally they are acting as if nothing is changed.
                One or two have adapted and respond well. They are getting the business.
                As always, it is the smaller operations that will suffer the most.
                Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
                Follow Me!
                Instagram
                YouTube


                Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
                Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

                Comment


                • #9
                  Goodness! I can’t imagine robots matching the delicacy and deftness of the human at his/her peak.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CortezPearls View Post
                    Interesting field!

                    I don't foresee an improvement in this field in quite some time for many reasons:
                    1) The "environment" in most pearl farms in quite "unhealthy" for robotics: saltwater is a killer! Probably making the equipment rust-free and sealed will involve prohibitive costs for pearl farmers.
                    2) The oysters change their external and outside anatomy greatly, even within their lifespan! It would take a lot of time to help the AI software learn the differences. Maybe it would be easier on Freshwater pearly mussels that the saltwater species...but being done in China where labor is relatively cheap...I just don't see it happening yet.
                    3) There is a "Spiritual connection" (you are free to believe otherwise!) between Grafter and Mollusk. I believe this is what helps create better pearls. You can't get this from a machine.
                    I performed these small experiments that cannot be called experiments at all by Science (or so I believe): I would seed oysters when I was angry, mad or grateful or very happy...then at harvest I would notice the results and -invariably- I noticed: more pearls, better pearls, and more gem grades when my emotional stance was positive.
                    I truly believe there is a kind of Magic that happens when a Person and a Mollusk meet halfway to create beauty int he shape of a pearl.

                    The salt water is a killer.. Even if you made everything to be rustproof, most of these machines need to run in a cleanroom BSL-2 or BSL-3 lab. The smallest bit of salt in the air could move the calibration off by a micron. Those are very good points.

                    Actually, x-ray and image recognition (specifically edge detection) has gotten to the point where you can determine where to put in the grafts. This will have to be done behind a lead wall without anyone in the room. I can imagine someone sorting it at the first station, to remove all the odd cases, and allow humans to continue doing the grafting. The machine will handle the standard cases in a clean room, with stable power supply and lead for the x-ray.

                    In terms of connection with the pearl.. and the energy that we give towards the animal.. Could they be happier that there are no stress hormones in the air because the machines do the work, and also much faster than a human? Just the smell of oil.


                    Robot police almost gave me a ticket:
                    Click image for larger version

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                    • #11
                      Given each stage of the process (and there are many), i can't imagine robotics ever being successfully used to undertake seeding/grafting. And if any part of the process WAS able to be potentially suitable for robotics, the overall process timeframe would largely increase which would then result in more stress, not less, to the oyster/mussel. Some things are definitely possible using robotics but i don't think the culture of pearls is one of those things...
                      George Ventouras
                      Pearling Technologies
                      www.pearlingtechnologies.com

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                      • #12
                        I can believe that mood affects graft success. When you are cheerful your hand will be steadier and your mind more directed. That has to mean your grafting abilities are working at highest level. Angry, worried, anxious - all likely to affect hand/eye co-ordination and ability to concentrate.
                        I don't even try to do stuff when not in good mind
                        Author:Pearls A Practical Guide published by Crowood Jan 2021
                        www.pearlsapractical.guide

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pearlescence View Post
                          I can believe that mood affects graft success. When you are cheerful your hand will be steadier and your mind more directed. That has to mean your grafting abilities are working at highest level. Angry, worried, anxious - all likely to affect hand/eye co-ordination and ability to concentrate.
                          I don't even try to do stuff when not in good mind
                          I can agree with that, since grafting at the moment, is a work of art. But computers can also do art.

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                          • #14
                            Well, they can do art, but...

                            I think you’re in an incredibly interesting field, and the intellectual challenges are thrilling, but the premise that a non-human approach to or performance of a task is inherently superior to human performance, is flawed. Even though new robotics are capable, and more capable than some humans in certain performances, they are tools.

                            The natural world has requirements for natural exchanges, that ultimately tools can’t replace, Like co2 and plants, feeding exchanges in ecosystems, handling a mollusk, stuff like that. Intuitions, leaps of human experience, and then matching the science to the situation are invaluable.

                            I hope you guys don’t mind being used as examples:

                            Case in point, Josh of Kamoka pearls was handling nets of mollusks for cleaning when he noticed that between hauling the nets into more shallow water and the time they were inline for cleaning, somehow they were cleaner. His brain noticed and drew conclusions, and the insights gained helped restore an ecosystem. A robot would’ve had to be programmed to ‘notice’, by a human.

                            Douglas (CortezPearls), made note of how our US dam on the Colorado affected water volume, the mix of fresh- and salt-water and the flats down in Mexico, in one of his presentations at the pearl Ruckus.

                            Thanks for the reference to Bretton-Woods, that was a fine subject to explore, Douglas!
                            Last edited by lisa c; 11-04-2020, 07:18 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pearling Technologies View Post
                              And yet many other farmers haven't grafted as they can't get the technicians to the farm during lock down and quite a number of farmers are trying to sell or close. They are having trouble selling pearls, which means no cashflow which makes it tough to continue for some.
                              This is what I've been hearing, too.

                              I'm glad I found this thread, as I've been wondering about price points and quality during the pandemic.
                              "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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