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Revista Geológica de América Central

versión On-line ISSN 0256-7024versión impresa ISSN 0256-7024


ALVARADO, Guillermo E.  y  AGUILAR, Teresita. Pearl oysters exploitation in Costa Rica (Central America) from the conquest until the early XXI Century: history, conchology and some reflections. Rev. Geol. Amér. Central [online]. 2019, n.60, pp.93-107. ISSN 0256-7024.

Costa Rica had an important, high quality pearl industry at international level. Additionally, there was intense exploitation of the nacre shell (mother of pearl) during the XIX century. The fame of these pearls as well as their trade significantly decreased during the first quarter of the XX century, it all but ended possibly due to overexploitation and lack of trade caused by the decrease of their value brought about by the cultured pearls industry. Costa Rican pearls were intensely extracted from the Santa Elena, Culebra and El Coco bays as well from the Nicoya gulf. The most abundant pearl producing species in the region is Pinctada mazatlanica as well as some populations of Pteria sterna. Nowadays, Pinctada mazatlanica is extracted in an artisanal fashion in Santa Elena’s bay both as food and for its pearls. However, there is no clear data about the importance of the current market, so specialized studies (biological and economical) aiming to determine if this market could be reestablished sustainably for the local populations are recommended.

Palabras clave : Pearl; nacre shell; Pinctada mazatlanica; Pteria sterna; pearl industry.

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