Laurent Cartier is a PhD candidate in Environmental Sciences at the University of Basel (Switzerland) and a project scholar at the University of Vermont. His PhD research explores sustainability and traceability issues in pearl farming. He has been working for a number of years on issues of natural resource management and sustainable sourcing of gemstone materials. He is a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

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For centuries, wild pearl oysters and mussels were fished in the quest for natural pearls and shell material. This eventually led to the drastic overexploitation of oyster stocks in many areas of the globe.1 Scientific innovation and entrepreneurship eventually unearthed a solution: Researchers discovered a way for humans to farm pearl oysters …

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