9321362 SIMS The scarcity of black pearl oysters is the single greatest constraint to expansion of this industry. Many Pacific atoll lagoons are suitable for pearl farming, but simply lack the oysters. The Hawaiian subspecies of black pearl oysters (P.Margaritifera galtsoffi) was once common in the islands, but was heavily overfished for pearl shell. Only remnants of the population remain. Re-establishment of pearl oyster stocks in Hawaii could lead to a small commercial fishery for pearl shell. The development of a commercial black pearl hatchery using the local oysters is the necessary first step in developing and implementing pearl culture in Hawaii. This research will assess the technical and financial feasibility of land-based as well as ocean-based grow-out techniques designed to accommodate conditions found in Hawaii and other S. Pacific Island groups. In addition, the establishment of a quarantine hatchery to produce stock from other S. Pacific Islands, e.g., Christmas Island, could lead to joint venture farms with these various island groups. If successful, this project would lead to a competitive pearl oyster culture operation and enhance the economic status of the region.