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MAJURO@ONLINE March 22, 2002
TO PRODUCE PEARLS IN COMMERCIALLY VIABLE NUMBERS, THE OYSTERS MUST BE "SEEDED"  MANUALLY BY SPECIALLY TRAINED "SEEDING TECHNICIANS." THIS ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF THE PEARL OYSTER INDUSTRY IS, FOR THE MOST PART, A CLOSLY HELD TRADE SECRET BY A SMALL NUMBER OF SEEDING TECHNICIANS WHO PLY THEIR TRADE WORLDWIDE. THE LOCAL BLACK PEARLS OF MICRONESIA (BPOM) PEARL FARM ON BIKIRIN IN MAJURO, HOWEVER, HAS DISCOVERED ONE FOREIGN TECHNICIAN WHO NOT ONLY ISN'T PARANOID ABOUT ISLANDERS LOOKING OVER HER SHOULDER WHILE SHE SEEDS THE OYSTERS, SH'S ACTIVELY TAINING A CREW OF MARSHALLESE EMPLOYEES TO DO THE JOB THEMSELVES. AFTER WORKING WITH FOUR DIFFERENT, BUT EQUALLY SECRETIVE, SEEDING TECHNICIANS OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, BPOM WAS DELIGHTED WITH THE ARRIVAL OF BERIN AQUILINA, A NEW ZEALAND BASE PEARL TECHNICIAN. LAST FRIDAY, SHE WRAPPED UP THREE WEEKS AT THE BIKIRIN FARM THAT INVOLVED SEEDING THOUSNADS OF PEARL OYSTERS AND RUNING A COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR THE ENTIRE CREW OF 10 WORKERS (FOUR WHOM WORK AT BPOM'S ARNO FARM), WITH A FOCUS ON THREE OF THE SENIOR WORKERS, TO DEVELOP SEEDING SKILLS. ....
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