Situated within the southern Kimberley Coast Bioregion, the Kimberley Marine Research Station (KMRS) represents the “gateway” to the Kimberley for independent marine research. Located at Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, 210km by road north of Broome on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula, KMRS offers our pearl farm base, infrastructure, vessels, personnel and local knowledge to the wider science community as the first and only fully operational marine research facility in the region.
Operating continuously since 1946, Cygnet Bay Pearls is the oldest entirely Australian and family-owned pearl farm. With 65 years of production from a single site, Cygnet Bay Pearls also represents one of the country’s longest running aquaculture ventures. Situated on the productive, sheltered waters of King Sound, Cygnet Bay Pearls continues to lead the industry, harvesting the largest fine quality South Sea pearls in the world. Originally established for mother-of-pearl collection, Cygnet Bay Pearls went on to produce cultured pearls in 1960, and has continued across three generations of the Brown family at the forefront of Australian and global pearl industries.
In the quest to culture the only gems created by living creatures, our pearl aquaculture is both a science and an art. Natural unpredictability across all phases of the culturing process reflects the dynamic nature of the marine environment our pearl oysters inhabit. Thus, the nutrient rich, pristine Kimberley waters in which Cygnet Bay's pearls are harvested are our most valuable asset and monitoring their condition forms an integral part of our operations and management. Since the early days, our successful pioneering of the cultured pearling industry has come as a result of intensive, sustained marine research efforts. Today, our on-going productivity, sustainability and longevity go hand-in-hand with continual monitoring, increased understanding and subsequent protection of our unique local marine environments. As a natural progression of this existing research facet, in 2009 Cygnet Bay Pearls further extended its enterprise and established a collaboration with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) to further promote truly independent research of the Kimberley coastal and marine region. In true pioneering spirit, this led to the successful establishment of KMRS in 2010 as the first marine research station in the Kimberley.
Our aim is to provide an operational marine science hub for independent research on the coastal and marine environments of the Kimberley bioregion. With the infrastructure and services to support and facilitate research of this nature on the ground here at Cygnet Bay, we are working towards achieving cross-institutional use of KMRS as a reference site for ongoing marine monitoring, management and research initiatives throughout the region. The Kimberley is regarded as one of the most biologically significant regions of the world yet the majority of its marine realm remains largely unstudied and unchartered, thus, KMRS represents the ideal opportunity to develop the research potential of this particularly unique and remote marine region.
As long-time friends and neighbours, Cygnet Bay Pearls and the Bardi-Jawi people share a long-standing relationship and histories completely entwined. Cygnet Bay Pearls acknowledges and respects the cultural values associated with the Bardi-Jawi coastline. Bardi-Jawi ranger guiding and inductions are proposed to form an integral part of all research ventures at KMRS and we anticipate further exciting prospects for this collaboration.
For more information on Cygnet Bay Pearls, please visit our website www.cygnetbaypearls.com.au.