PEARL PIONEER & VISIONARY
Born to an American father and Fijian mother, Justin Hunter grew up in the small town of Savusavu in Fiji where his love for island life and the ocean began. Moving to the United States as a young man Justin completed his high school education and university in Washington State. After completing his marine science degree Justin began working for his family business, Taylor Shellfish, focusing on rearing edible oysters in Washington State and Hawaii.
At an aquaculture conference held in Sydney, Australia in 1998 Justin and cousin Paul Taylor attended a presentation by Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries on the potential for a new aquaculture industry; pearl farming in Fiji. An opportunity he could not resist.
With over 10 years experience working for the family owned shellfish company, Taylor Shellfish, Justin returned to his hometown of Savusavu with a dream of cultivating one of the world’s most rarest pearls, Fiji Pearls. Aware of the obstacles pearl farmers in Fiji had faced before him Justin implemented new pearl farming techniques and establishing vital relationships with the local villages that would see him become a pioneer in the pearling industry in Fiji and establish Fiji Pearls as a global brand to be admired by pearlers around the world.
Justin’s dream did not end with growing the world’s best pearls. His goal was to blend pearl farming with Fiji’s natural environment and its indigenous people to create a working partnership. Justin is intensely committed to keeping the marine environment of Savusavu Bay in its pristine condition and to developing the pearl industry in Fiji by working closely with emerging pearl farmers.