Recently I paid two persons to harvest some nuts on my property (51 plants) as I wanted to gift my niece a perfect nut on the occasion of her wedding in Seychelles.
They came down three hours later to inform me that four female plants had been down. I reported the matter to Fond B’offay and coming out I informed environmentalist Mr Laboudallon also… He said:
“Yes, this is the way it is going as there is a black market demand and the sellers are felling down trees for unscrupulous dealers and that in the not too distant future our descendants will only read about the coco de mer”.
Last Sunday I related the matter to Mr Michel Gardette of Praslin Development Fund and he confirmed the trend. He gave me statistics of previous harvests and stock of nuts which paints a gloomy picture for the future of this Seychelles legacy.
About six years ago, I sold a nut to an American living in the mountain of Hawaii and he now has a young tree. It could well happen that Hainan island of mainland China could one day boast a plantation of coco de mer to experience a new Vallée de Chine.
I am relieved however to mention that after the verdict of the appeals court allowing me to develop my property at Anse Lazio I will be able to afford security to protect the remaining coco de mer female plants as well as to buy nuts to plant anew… thus ensuring that at least on one corner of Praslin the coco de mer will flourish.
I am writing to alert the authorities that we will soon reach a point of NO RETURN to rehabilitate our national symbol.
If we fail to control effectively the export of coco de mer, Seychelles will eventually lose this exotic plant which forms part of our tourism assets.
Three weeks ago, a thief stole two nuts at my Glacis house, leaving my daughter’s laptop and bicycle etc.. This shows what value the coco de mer has…
Alwyn P. Talma