BROOME'S PEARLING HISTORY
It was MOP shell that put Broome on the map. Of course, when you are pulling thousands of oyster shell out of the water you are going to find natural pearls. A by product of selling MOP, but what a by product. Fortunes were made, intrigue, foul play and fame came to the tiny town of Broome thanks to the natural pearls found. Pearling (we still call it pearling as it sounds a lot better than MOPing) first came to Broome in the 1880 and at its peak in 1912 Broome had a lugger fleet of 400 vessels.
We highly recommend a visit to the Broome Historical Museum to get a taste of what old Broome was like.
Our “local” pearl farms are spread up and down 800 km’ of our pristine coastline. Our unpolluted, nutrient rich waters with big tidal flows create some of the world’s most expensive pearls. Servicing these farms with staff, fuel, food etc is a logistical, but worthwhile, challenge.