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A Sea Coconat seed from Seychelles Islands to the Oceanographic Museum.

Monaco Oceanographic Museum, launched in 1889, and the Oceanographic Institute, founded in 1906, are a primary research centre for ocean conservation and studies of the sea, both created by the will of H.S.H. Prince Albert I of Monaco in partnership with the French Ministry of Education. Hosting one of the oldest aquarium in the world with over 300 species of fish, 300 species of invertebrates and about 100 species of corals toghether with more than 60,000 scientific, naturalistic, artistic and ethnological memorabilia, this prestigious institution is constantly looking for new items to add to your collection.

On the 29th June 2024, the Oceanographic Institute, in partnership with the Seychelles Islands Foundation (S.I.F.) and the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Seychelles in Monaco, organized a unique official ceremony. H.E. François Noaro, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Seychelles in Monaco, conferred a rare and emblematic Coco de Mer (Sea Coconat) seed, to Cyril Gomez, Deputy Director-General of the Oceanographic Institute. The event and the formal grant agreement took place in the iconic Oceanomania, an out-of-the-ordinary cabinet by the artist Mark Dion collecting outstanding curiosities from the marine environment.

The diplomat pointed out: « This ceremony is a precious opportunity to raise awareness of the conservation of the Coco de Mer and celebrate our unique natural heritage ».

The Sea Conconat (Lodoicea maldivica) is an endemic species from Seychelles Islands (Praslin and Curieuse) known for a special record. This palm, that populates the most popular tropical sea resort, produces the largest seed ever seen (up to 18 kg each). Due to these characteristics, when it falls into the sea it sinks until the walnut peel decomposes and the gases form inside make the bare walnut rise to the surface, without however being able to give life to new plants in that stage. The survival of the sea coconut is therefore vulnerable, also as a result of anthropogenic impacts and climate change. As a matter of fact, the Sea Coconat was classified "in danger", being included in the IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List in 2011.

The Coco de Mer represents an important social and economic, acting a pivotal ambassador of sustainable tourism in the archipelago. The Seychelles Islands Foundation (S.I.F.) aims at strengthening the resilience of this endangered species by setting up Regeneration and Plant at Home programs pushing local communities to get involved in the preservation.

The Seychelles Islands Foundation (S.I.F.) manages a large part of Coconat Sea plantations spread in the Vallée de Mai, the Fond Peper and the Fond Ferdinand Reserve. The Foundation has been supporting targeted research studies for fifteen years taking care of more than 5,800 trees in 2023, with the support of Franklinia Foundation. Fire, poaching, invasive alien species and climate change are still the main threats.

This event was included in the interstate programme: "FROM SEYCHELLES TO MONACO", organized throughout the month of June by the will of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Seychelles in Monaco, in partnership with the Prince's Government, in order to raise awareness of the preservation of Marine World Heritage and the Biodiversity of the Seychelles. ***

MonacoEcoArt keeps its journalism open to all although its information is the result of pure professionalism and knowledge. Supporting our Media allows us to keep our independence while offering quality contents based on traceable sources. Thank you for your collaboration.

By Maurice Abbati

Journalist; Editor; Communication, Media and Public Relations Specialist

Lecturer and Author in English language of Technical Articles and the Manual: "Communicating the Environment to Save the Planet, a Journey into Eco-Communication" by Springer International Publishing.

Cover page of PhD manual by Maurice Abbati


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