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Hear Jess Jones, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, talk about his upcoming trip to the Freshwater Fisheries Research Center in Wuxi, China–a world leader in producing cultured pearls with freshwater mussels.
Jess works at the Freshwater Mussels Conservation Center at Virginia Tech. He hopes that he and Dan Hua, the lab manager, will learn how the Chinese center has mastered the mussel life cycle in captivity.
Basically, they not only raise mussels in captivity, but they keep the propogated mussels as adults to use them for following generations. The center here has not yet completed that full life cycle in captivity.