Coco de mer owners urged to register trees and nuts


23-November-2012

Miss Biscornet with the single genuine and many imitation coco de mer nuts at her kiosk along Francis Rachel road (Photo by G.T.)Environment and Energy Minister Rolph Payet said this in the National Assembly last week.

The new price for the tag is R100 and members of the public have to declare their coco de mer and make payment by December 15, 2012.

All licensed coco de mer dealers are reminded to ensure they have a valid licence on display where they are selling the nuts or face prosecution.

Those who have nuts but no tags for them must declare the seeds to the Ministry of Environment and Energy at Fond B’Offay, Praslin or Botanical Gardens, Mahé, by December 15, 2012.

Those who do so will have to give the ministry details as to where and how they got the nuts and pay R100 for a tag and permit.

It is an offence under the coco de mer (management) decree of 1978 – revised in 1994 – to be in possession of a coco de mer without an original tag and permit or to sell coco de mer nut without a valid licence.

Those who have coco de mer trees growing on their property are also requested to declare them to the ministry.

Those with up to 25 trees must make the declaration by November 30, 2012 and those with more than 25 must make the declaration by December 31, 2012. The declaration should include the number of female and male trees, juvenile trees, seedlings and geminated seeds. It should also include the number of mature nuts in their possession. Members of the public are also informed that it is an offence to make a false declaration to an environment officer.

The ministry would also like to remind members of the public that the ban on trade of coco de mer kernel imposed earlier this year is still in force.

Walking up the artisanal kiosks along Francis Rachel road yesterday, we found hardly any genuine coco de mer nuts where the vendors used to have many. Instead most of them have chosen to deal in curved imitations which they said customers find more affordable and hail as environmentally friendly alternative.

Some, however, told Nation even before the 2012 ban they preferred the imitations “to avoid the hustle of having to look for stickers and permits”.

Sabrina Biscornet said many tourists like and buy imitations at her Maison D’Orchid kiosk, but she has one which is genuine and registered – which she is seen holding in our picture (on this and the front page)  “just for her kiosk’s decoration”.

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