45 imagesThe pastoral industry is an important contributor to the Kimberley economy. Cattle are grown for live export from Broome.
18 imagesImages of Kimberley industry including Koolan and Cockatoo Islands and Broome Jetty.
11 imagesPearling is one of the major industries in Broome. The shells of the gold or silver lipped oyster, Pinctada maxima, were initially in demand for use as mother-of-pearl, used extensively in buttons, furniture inlay and handles for cutlery. Once plastic buttons were developed, pearl shell fell out of favour and the market slumped. A British marine biologist, William Saville-Kent, first experimented with culturing pearls at the end of the nineteenth century. A Japanese man, Tokishi Nishikawa, heard of Saville-Kent's experiments and patented the technique to culture pearls using a hemispherical bead inserted into the oyster. By the early 1950s, techniques were developed to cultured pearls, and a farm was established at Kuri Bay in Camden Sound. The farm was named after Mr Tokuichi Kuribayashi (1896-1982). The Japanese-American-Australian company began operations in 1956 following the repeal by the Western Australian Government of the the Pearling Act that prohibited the production, sale and possession of cultured pearls. By 1973 the Kuri Bay operation was producing 60% of the worlds large white South Sea pearls. Pearling has since developed into one of Broome's major industries, and Broome's south sea pearls are widely regarded as the best in the world.