With more than a 90% share of the market, French Polynesia is the world’s leading producer of coloured pearls. In a period of 30 years, the activity has become essential to the Polynesian economy, with 3,700 people earning their living from it. Pearls are now the territory’s foremost resource export.

But for the past decade, the Polynesian pearl cultivation sector has been in crisis, with the price of pearls continuing to tumble. There are many reasons for this: an unfavourable international economic situation, a competitive market, fraud, etc.

The aim of the POLYPERL project is to develop sustainable pearl cultivation in French Polynesia, with industrial production essentially focusing on the species Pinctada margaritifera. The project plans to explore the system of pearl oyster cultivation overall, from an environmental, technological, economic and indeed social perspective.

The project will provide the means, on the one hand, to improve understanding of the biology of the species and, on the other, to offer innovations and decision-making tools geared towards sustainable management and incorporated into pearl cultivation in French Polynesia.

  • - Acobiom, Montpellier
  • - Gauguin's pearl, ferme aquacole, Pirae, Polynésie
Research centers
  • - Ifremer, Taravo, Polynésie  [Project Developer]
  • - AMURE-UBO, Brest
  • - CRIOBE, Centre de recherches insulaires et observatoire de l'environnement, Moorea, Polynésie
  • - Ifremer, Boulogne-sur-Mer
  • - Ifremer, Brest
  • - Ifremer, Nantes
  • - Ifremer, Toulon
  • - IRD, Nouméa, Nouvelle-Calédonie
  • - LAMETA (Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'économie théorique et appliquée), Montpellier
  • - PRL, service perliculture (rattaché au Ministère), Tahiti, Polynésie
  • - Université de Polynésie Française, UMR 241, Faaa, Polynésie
Other partner
  • - Te Mana et te Moana, Moorea, Polynésie
- Agence Nationale de la Recherche
Overall budget
3 012 K€