Integrated management and adaptation of pearl farming in French Polynesia

In 30 years, pearl farming has become an essential activity in the economy of French Polynesia (80% of exports).

Projet en cours

Project affiliated to:
Project leader Ifremer
Industrials partners SKULDTECH, Guauguin Perl, Te Mana, PRL
Research partners CRIOBE, UPF, IRD, LAMETA, Amure
Budget 3 000 K€
Cofinanceur publics ANR, Service de la Perliculture de l'Etat Polynésien
Year of labeling 2011 - Colabellisé avec le Pôle Mer Bretagne
Year of co-financing 2011


But this sector, which is based on the exploitation of a single crop, the Pinctada margaritifera pearl oyster, is undergoing an unprecedented crisis whose causes seem as much due to structural conditions as economic conditions.

In this context, POLYPERL is an integrated project, which takes into account a set of applied research topics on pearl farming, an understanding of biological phenomena as well as the socio-economic aspects related to pearl farming activities and also considers risk management (anthropogenic , health and climate). It aims to improve our understanding of this production system across French Polynesia, through a systemic approach to the activity, encouraging the development of interdisciplinary knowledge (ecology, physiology, husbandry, genetics, physics, modelling, economics, social sciences, epidemiology ....).

Another unique feature of this project is the implementation of a process of action research, involving scientists, pearl farmers and the managing authorities for the construction of different scenarios.

Finally, this project reveals a twofold significance: on the one hand scientific, as it will mean that there will be advances in the biology of the species and its development and on the other hand an operational significance through the proposal of technical innovations and decision support tools. This project, whose goal is to expand the range of technological, economic and social solutions in order to ensure viable pearl production, is organized into four major themes:

  • identify the resource, the pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera, its diversity, the way it functions and its structure to ensure the sustainability of production;
  • develop the tools and methods needed to improve the eco-efficiency of the pearl farming sector
  • sustainability and governance
  • knowledge dissemination, transfer and development.