Photographer's Note

In the bay of Ormos Sofikou had a chance to see a rare sight in Europe, mollusc culture.

Breeding pearls;
Pearl farming methods continually perfected. The new laboratories, equipment and tools are just a small portion of the ,,manufacturing process''. The rest continue to depend on the mussels, sea and scuba divers, without which the culture of pearls can not exist. Mussels are the best three years. After capture are delivered to the laboratory, where mussels are implanted each tiny beads made of natural mother of pearl. Balls are cut and turned the shells of molluscs, that no longer fit for further breeding. One mussel can be implanted into thirty such beads, but only few of them become really beautiful pearls.
,,Vaccinated'' in this way mussels are placed in specially constructed cages, 100 pieces in each, and cages suspended in seawater, the floating rafts at a depth of three to four meters. Since that time frames involved in divers. Divers inspect the farm, measure the temperature of the water, examine the conditions mollusc nutrition and health. It lasts for at least four years because so many years the need to breed the pearl. Remain the last steps: the extraction of frames from the sea and accurate checking of the inside of each mussel. For special tables are shedding a pearl, a lot of pearls. After measuring the diameter and drilling the holes are gems. Easy, right? However, if we consider the time required to produce ,,almost real’’ pearls, the number of people who work at the same time, the special conditions under which they can breed sharks lying in wait for divers, diseases that destroy the vaccinated mussels, the high price of pearls from the culture, as beautiful as the natural, is completely justified.

Photo taken during the race bike to Greece in 1998. I lost film from the trip, so this is a scan from a photo.

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Additional Photos by Jozef Zbigniew Napora (raszid62) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1797 W: 41 N: 3315] (18457)
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