Our story goes back to 1964 when Mike started for Abalone with his father in Southern California. Our connection to the sea goes back to then. Mike got his first boat at the age of 15 and started Abalone diving with other members of this family. He continued working hard in this industry. In 1987 after hearing from a fellow fisherman about New Zealand he thought he had better come down and take a better look.
He ran into fellow Abalone Diver Roger Beattie and in 1988 spent a few weeks with Rodger Beattie in the Chatham Islands Paua diving. They spent a lot of time talking about Paua farming. At this point Mike fell in love with New Zealand. In 1989 he purchased a small house on the beach in Kaikoura where he came back to New Zealand in the summertime of January and February to recharge and do some recreational diving after his long California dive season. 1989 was also a significant time when he met his future wife while they were both Sea Urchin diving in Northern California.
Mike’s love of New Zealand and Antonia having come from New Zealand tied them together. In 1992 Antonia came to work on Mikes dive boat as a second diver. They made a good team and together became one of the top dive teams in the State in California. They realise that they had more in common than just being a dive team. In January 1993 they made their first trip to NZ together as a couple. While travelling in NZ they happen to stumble over the Perano Homestead for Sale on the foreshore of Picton. With Mike and Antonia talking about Paua farming they decided to purchase the Perano farm at Whekenui to further their Paua farming dreams together.
For the next five years they worked very hard in the Dive Business to make the funds to develop the farm. In 2001 Mike and Antonia started their first real venture into Paua farming with just 4 tanks. One of which was used for Paua pearl experiments. We now have 250 Paua farm tanks with Paua that have Pearls growing in them. We grow the Pearls from Wild Paua that we have harvested from the rocky shores of the Cook Strait.
We are now producing the highest quality most beautiful Abalone (Paua) Pearls in the world.