Monday, June 29, 2009

Les Huitres

How to eat oysters:

Freshly picked from the mangrove, gently smoked, and then guzzled with fingers on a beach in Senegal's Sine Saloum delta.

How not to pick oysters:

For mangrove conservation reasons, it is forbidden for oyster collectors to cut mangroves in order to collect their bounty. The people who collect oysters are almost always women, who wade out chin deep into the creeks, and must use sharp knives to cut the oysters from the mangroves. It takes longer this way, but it means that there will be mangroves, and oysters, for tomorrow.

Our guide explained this to us. Then he and the boatman drew our pirogue up to the mangroves, and promptly uprooted a couple of branches. Apparently it's OK to destroy the habitat if you have a boatload of white people and are in a hurry...

Mangroves are an important habitat for a number of species, including humans. So, if you go to the Sine Saloum delta and see the guides tearing up the mangroves, let them know.

For more on mangroves visit Wetlands International.

No comments: