2 Feb 2009

Manihiki black pearl industry alright despite dwindling population

6:47 pm on 2 February 2009

The black pearl industry in Manihiki in the Cook Islands northern group is expected to recover despite the local population plummetting to just 280.

The mayor Kora Kora, says over the past five years, the number of serious pearl farmers has dropped from 300 to 30, adding the global economic crisis hasn't helped matters.

But Kora Kora is confident the industry will survive, especially with the assistance of the Cook Islands government.

"They have given a lot of money in this last budget you know we're thankful for the government has come in and setup the Cook Islands Pearl Authority so we're hoping the next three or four years that we can see an expansion again and see the old days come back with the pearl industry."