Distribution of birds’ eggs this year will start this weekend, the Islands Development Company has announced.
The Islands Development Company (IDC) has said there will be no sale of birds’ eggs on the local market as a result of a recorded bad season in the collection of this delicacy.
Chief executive of IDC Glenny Savy made the announcement in a briefing on the subject with the press yesterday morning at the IDC headquarters at the New Port.
He stated that the eggs will be distributed on Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12 at the IDC headquarters to the 4,500 individuals who registered for the eggs during the month of March 2020. He further stated that the rest will be sold to staff and also, as customary, distributed freely to institutions in the country.
Mr Savy claimed that the 450,000 eggs collected by the 16 IDC pickers over a period of nearly two months from May 10 to July 5, were far less than the 923,000 eggs collected in 2018 on Desnoeuf island.
It was the first time that birds’ eggs were collected on the Cosmoledo group of islands, precisely on Wizarol island (Grand Ile).
The eggs are expected to arrive on Mahe this evening onboard IDC’s vessel Enterprise II. The eggs packed in three-tray carton boxes containing 90 eggs will be sold at R450 per carton per person. He claimed that the new registration system for the birds’ eggs has prevented people from buying in bulk for further sales at exorbitant price.
Mr Savy said IDC, in collaboration with the department of environment, did a trial test this year to collect birds’ eggs on Cosmoledo, in light of sustainability for the reproduction of the sooty terns in general.
“It has been one of our worst seasons in the collection of birds’ eggs this year even though the birds were in abundance,” he said noting that in the past IDC had collected over one million eggs on Desnoeuf island during a good season and 500,000 eggs during a bad season. He added that on average IDC collected around 700,000 eggs per season.
Birds’ eggs are collected during the south east monsoon which is their breeding season.
Mr Savy presumed that a lack of food among other factors may have had an impact on the birds’ reproduction cycle this season. He added that IDC and the department of environment will, during the non-collecting season next year, carry on with a survey on the birds, which was cancelled last year also during the non-collecting collecting season because of bad weather. He added that the survey will help to better sustain and boost reproduction of the birds for future generation.
Having spent two months collecting birds’ eggs with the IDC pickers, IDC deputy chief executive Christian Lionnet said they started collecting eggs from as early as 6.15am to 11am. They also assisted with packing and transporting the eggs on board Enterprise II. He said that egg picking is a very difficult process as the birds lay most of their eggs in the bushes rather than on the plateau. He claimed that the eggs are fresh and will last for three months as they are stored in temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius.
Mr Savy took the opportunity to refute allegations on social media that eggs with chicks inside coming from IDC are already on the market.
He said that no IDC birds’ eggs are being sold on the market as they will only arrive on Mahe this evening and will be distributed on Saturday and Sunday. He presumed that if birds’ eggs are on the market, it could be from some other private islands that also collect the delicacies during that time of the season.
People who registered to receive eggs from the IDC will be able to collect their goodies as from 9am onwards on Saturday and Sunday upon presenting their Identification cards (ID). In view of the COVID-19 health restriction measures, only six people at a time will be allowed inside the IDC compound for payment and collection.
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