Coconut Crabs & Satoshi Island
Addressing misinformation relating to coconut crabs and our voluntary wildlife conservation area.
Here are the facts relating to this information.
- Coconut crabs are considered a delicacy by tourists in Vanuatu and as such are hunted for food.
- Coconut crabs are not fully protected by law in Vanuatu.
- Prior to the Satoshi Island team coming to the island, the local people used the island to hunt coconut crabs, birds and fish.
- When the Satoshi Island team arrived on the island, there were almost no coconut crabs, birds or fish around the reef as they had all been decimated by hunters.
- Poaching on the island continued after the Satoshi Island came to the island.
- In an attempt to eliminate poaching to allow the wildlife population to return, a voluntary wildlife conservation area was set up to make it possible to punish poachers by law for hunting any and all wildlife on the island and surrounding reef.
- This conservation area does not in any way effect building or developing the island. It is specific to hunting of wildlife.
- In combination with the wildlife conservation area we also made contact with the chiefs of local tribes to set up educational programs to try and persuade local people not to hunt the coconut crabs until they were of breeding age, so the population could increase country wide. There was a lot of success with this effort.
- Since making these efforts the wildlife population on our island has increased dramatically and there is now a good, although fragile, population of crabs, birds and fish.
- Much of the hunting has now stopped, partly because of educational programs sponsored by Satoshi Island, and partly due to the jobs that we provide to local people giving them other options than poaching. Unfortunately we have been unable to prevent all poaching on our island as it is simply not possible to keep an eye on all the access points due to the small population of our team and staff members.
- Increasing the population of people on the island, which the Satoshi Island project will do, will help the increase the wildlife populations as poachers will no longer be able to find ways on to the island without being detected.
- The wildlife conservation area will also remain in place making it illegal for Satoshi Islanders to hunt or fish on the island. Fishing will only be permitted in the deep waters around the island by boat, not on the reef from the land.
- The bulk of the natural habitat will remain preserved and wildlife corridors are built into the island design.
Conservation is very important to the Satoshi Island project and we will continue to act responsibly to benefit of the nature of the island and the lives of the local people in Vanuatu.