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Broken Bay Pearl Farm Triumphs Over Adversity with Successful First Test Harvest Since Major Floods

  • First harvest of pearls post-floods 
  • Remarkable recovery for estuaries and oyster industry
  • Test of resilience for pearl farm in the long 2-3 year wait to culture a pearl 
  • Popular ‘pearl reveal’ re-introduced for visitors on pearl farm experiences 
  • Bright vision for the future
  • In a remarkable turn of events, Broken Bay Pearl Farm, battered by the most devastating floods since the farm opened in 2001, has celebrated a significant milestone in its journey to recovery. Following the devastation of three major flood events that wiped out the farm’s total population of adult and juvenile pearl shell, the farm has successfully conducted a trial harvest, revealing the first Akoya pearl from an oyster since 2020.

    Rebirth After Devastation

    The culmination of three floods and the worst flood event in more than 50 years, dealt a severe blow to Broken Bay Pearl Farm, causing a substantial loss of adult and juvenile pearl shell. This natural disaster presented an immense challenge for the farm’s survival.

    However, the resilient team have endured a long hard journey of regeneration, nurturing new shell after an extensive search for surviving broodstock. After years of dedicated efforts, the farm is now witnessing the fruition of its hard work with the successful test harvest on pearl shell that was seeded after the regeneration process.

    James Brown shared insights into the unique challenges the pearl farm faced,

  • “Akoya oysters take 2-3 years to mature before they are ready for seeding to grow a pearl. After seeding, another 18 months to two years must pass for a high-quality pearl to grow”.

    A Glimpse of Hope

    Owner James Brown expressed his gratitude for the massive team effort, stating, ‘It’s often devastating events like this that see pearl farms around Australia and the world close forever. However, we are driven by commitment to quality and the enduring beauty that our natural world offers. Because of our farm team’s high-quality operations, we know high-quality pearls can be produced, and we are more determined to invest for the long-term knowing we cannot just recover, but thrive.”

    While natural disasters such as floods can set back a pearl farm for many years, Broken Bay Pearl Farm views this test harvest as a significant step toward the ultimate goal – a beautiful gem harvested from local waters.

    Oyster industry Recovery

    In the wake of the floods, the estuaries and oyster industry on the NSW Central Coast, including Broken Bay Pearl Farm, have been recovering nicely. Estuaries, crucial for oyster cultivation, are proving to be highly productive, and oysters are growing exceptionally well. The influx of nutrient-rich waters has revitalised these estuarine environments. The restoration of essential nutrients has created an optimal habitat for high quality oysters to thrive. This resurgence in oyster growth is not only a testament to natures resilience, but also reflects the dedication of the local oyster farming community in nurturing and sustaining this vital industry.

    Pearl Reveal Returns

    In another exciting development, Broken Bay Pearl Farm plans to reintroduce the pearl reveal, where visitors can witness the popping of a pearl out of an oyster, back to its tours. This feature will initially be available in the Ultimate Tours.

    Looking Forward

    The farm is also collaborating with the James Cook University genetics team to launch an important Akoya pearl shell breeding program. Despite the challenges faced, James Brown, the recipient of the Australian Farmer of the Year award in 2020, remains optimistic, stating, “ The floods devastated the farm and wiped out most of our stock. We’ve missed out on three years of pearl production and it’s wonderful to finally see pearls being harvested again. The vision of producing high quality pearls and contributing to the longevity of our industry inspires us to reinvest for the long term”.

    Broken Bay Pearl Farm, located on the picturesque Lower Hawkesbury River in Mooney Mooney, is inviting visitors to witness the resurgence of its farm and experience the magic of locally grown pearls. For more information, visit


    For media inquiries, please contact:

    Pearls of Australia

    Jodi Chant, Marketing Manager

    [email protected]