Detective shellfish farmer keeps oyster thieves away

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PARIS: When thieves stole three tons of oysters from French shellfish farmer Christophe Guinot, he found a solution: plant secret notes inside oyster shells to help police track down thieves.

French shellfish farmer Christophe Guinot has a message for those looking to steal his oysters – and he puts it right in the shell.

“It had a deterrent effect. I think in the last five to six years there has been no new oyster theft and no complaints filed.

While not as valuable as pearls, oysters are a premium product when it comes to shellfish. A half-dozen can go up to 24 euros, or $ 27, at fancy restaurants, especially during the holidays when demand is high.

This is why it is known that thieves jump on a boat and steal them from the submerged metal cages in which they are raised.

Guinot’s banknote – which he invented in 2016 after thieves stole three tonnes of his oysters – is rolled up and put into an empty shell … which is then glued and placed in a cage.

The note tells whoever opens it that she has gained her weight in oysters and invites her to call a phone number to claim her prize.

This person could then be asked where they had bought the oyster, and if it was not from somewhere that Guinot was getting supplies, the detective shellfish farmer could then put the police on the trail of the oyster thief.

“Thanks to the obligatory tracing of our shellfish, I will be able to find this rude person, whether professional of the sea or not, who will have sold my oysters to a wholesaler, who will then have sold them to a fishmonger And with the help of the nautical brigade and the maritime police, we can catch – at least them, since it is their job – the person who flies in the oyster beds. “

Other shellfish farmers in the south of France have imitated Guinot’s methods: after 19 hold-ups in 2017, there were none in 2020.

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