500 tons for the year, with naked-diving 200 tons less. This would
operate against the local government, as it not only levies $38.60 U.
S. gold per metric ton as an export duty, but makes a large profit on
the diving machines by way of license. The pearl fisheries of French
Oceanica therefore face a grave situation.
are found occasionally on the western coast of Nicaragua at San Juan
del Norte. The Panama coast still yields great quantities of pearls as
it has done for many years. When Spain controlled the northwestern
section of South America with the Isthmus to the borders of Guatemala,
under the name of Colombia, immense quantities of pearls were sent home
by the colonists.
is recorded that 697 pounds of pearls were imported into Seville from
Colombia in 1587. A large proportion of these undoubtedly came from the
coasts of what is now Venezuela. The Panama or bullock shell as it is
called, is not of the finest quality and the pearls are apt to be dark
and inferior to the Indian pearls in luster as well as in color;
nevertheless fine pearls are found there and the fisheries yield a