Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cleaning the oyster shells

These people are cleaning the oyster shells of rubbish and growth and then
the shells are returned to the water for a further year before the process
is repeated. The pearls are harvested three times, and each time they are
harvested a new foreign object is implanted into the oyster. This foreign
object causes irritation which the oyster counteracts by secreting nacre to
surround the object and this produces the pearl.

Two of the people in this photo were volunteers. They are backpackers
visiting Australia who must complete three months volunteer work to be
eligible for a further twelve month visa. The Irish guy in the front of the
photo said that they work approximately six hours per day and live back in
Denham. I am sure that I would have wanted another type of "volunteer" role
rather than cleaning smelly oyster shells for six hours every day.

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