THE women of Navunievu and Tavulomo in Bua including Vusasivo in Cakaudrove have been reaping the rewards of hard work from the sale of their pearls.
Acting North principal fisheries officer Joji Vakawaletabua said the women's group in Tavulomo had managed to make a profit of $3000 while their counterparts in Navunievu managed to collect $4000 from pearl sales.
Mr Vakawaletabua said the women's group in Tavulomo and Navunievu had cultivated six pearl lines of 100 metres last year.
"We actually started off the project as a research to also gauge the demand for pearls in the market," he said.
"In a way the farms have also stopped people from exploiting pearls in nature, which has an important task of regulating the marine ecosystem.
"When pearls are cultivated in farms people can know the age and size of the pearls and whether they are ready for harvest."
Mr Vakawaletabua said local pearls met global standards and this was evident in how they have also hit the Japanese market.
"The Japanese pearl market used to buy only Tahitian and Cook Island pearls because of their quality but now this has changed," he said.
"Because of the standards of our pearls, Japanese markets have opened up and now we even have Japanese technicians in Savusavu seeding oysters.
"We are even aware that J Hunter Pearl Company has started delving into the Eastern European pearl market."