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Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

Tanna Island...
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Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

It is with sadness I read in Tripadvisor’s Restaurants Reviews of Port Vila restaurants serving Coconut Crab.

As tourism operators we cannot continue to plead ignorance and wait for the numbers of Coconut Crabs to dwindle to such an extent as to be on the critical list.

We must act now to save and create sanctuaries for them before it’s be too late….at the rate Port Vila restaurants promote and sell them that moment is fast approaching. The coconut crab has everything going against its survival...increasing loss of habitat (areas within 5 kms from saltwater where it needs to lay its eggs is also increasingly inhabited by man). They are also very easy to catch, they reproduce only in their 5th to 6th year of life and live anything from 1km to 5 km from the ocean at which the female must give birth…if they make back to the shores at all. They can live to 50 years and grow to massive size, regrettably each consecutive generation is being eaten before they have a chance to reproduce. The large ones have been hunted out and now we are eating the small ones.

Many young Coconut Crabs are eaten by natural predators (birds, fish, rats, other crabs, etc) before making it to safety on land at which stage they are also very vulnerable (you see them splattered on streets by vehicles as they forage at night). To help things along the adult crab will eat young coconut crabs along with nuts, cockroaches and other dead things it finds on the forest floor. They are scavengers and coconuts are not their primary food sources. Numbers on some islands have been decimated, and now the locals are catching crab from other islands to sell to the tourist trade. Before the tourism trade started they were found everywhere in Vanuatu and covered most of the pacific islands. I know of no Coconut Crab farms (more holding pens of caught ones for selling) and cannot see how they could be farmed profitably as they need access to the ocean plus can climb perfectly vertical walls in addition to their slow development.

I find it ironic that people still refer to the Coconut crabs as delicacies, they are essentially tasteless hence covered in strong sauces to hide that fact, there is no justification for any restaurant to sell it ....except to attract tourists for its novelty factor.

Restaurants should be ashamed destroying this national icon, they should be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

If you are not aware of the facts please Google “Coconut Crabs Vanuatu” for the info.

Hopefully restaurants and their patrons will join us to protect it for future generations.

Quick links on the subject:

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g294144-i4912-k…

buzzle.com/articles/a-giant-spider-that-can-…

dailypost.vu/content/coconut-crab-eat-or-not…

www.scribd.com/doc/46315493/Coconut-Crab

Cheers,

John

Auckland Region...
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57 posts
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21. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

In flight magazine would be an awesome idea to get the word out about the coconut crab. Hopefully if everyone keeps talking about it more awareness will get out there. I wonder if something on the cruise ships would be a good idea too?

fruitbat.... duno if I could pull that off, makes me feel a bit squeamish.

Thanks PeaceandLight I have made note of all those places and will try and get to them all, love a good burger so will definitely try that place and the mud crab yum. Being a real food know where to go is always handy :)

Cant wait not long now

Tanna Island...
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22. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

Hi everyone,

In order to raise this issue with the more influential bodies of Vanuatu tourism I have posted the following:

“Hi to all citizens and friends of Vanuatu and those who are yet to discover this special friendly, peaceful corner of the world.

A number of us are deeply concerned about the plight of our iconic hermit crab aptly named “The Coconut Crab”. Basically they are being eaten into extinction and we are trying to bring this issue to the forefront before it is too late. There is a mountain of information on this amazing creature (the largest land crab in the world) on the web, so will not tire you with data but if you are coming to Vanuatu or live here we would like to invite you our Forum where this is being discussed: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g294144-i4912-k6255616-o20-Tripadvisor_Restaurant_Reviews-Port_Vila_Efate.html”

In these sites:

https://www.facebook.com/vanuatuislands

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa…

Please help by adding your support in these links and maybe we can bring some change. Many will immediately understand and others may take longer, but one needs to believe in the principle of: “Inside every person there is someone good trying to get out!”.

This is a start, if you know of any sites that could spread the information further please advise us on this post (or PM me, happy to do it)..

Hopefully people power and common sense will prevail.

Cheers,

John

Port Vila, Vanuatu
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1 post
10 reviews
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23. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

I agree although at this stage a more direct and convincing approach to the problem is required. Word of mouth all these years hasn't made it go away regretfully. It may have actually encouraged many to try this unique experience before it is finally no longer available, worsening the issue further. You see people will simply call it a personal opinion until concrete facts are brought to light. They don't know any better and one can't blame them for it given it is openly available on menus across the country. Get some reliable statistics/forecasts and go direct for the Island Spirit Magazine and P&O Cruises. The earlier option would even suffice. VTO should also get into it, that would be a fine noble gesture from their part. And finally I would recommend those that know Moana Carcasses, our new PM, to perhaps motivate him towards this cause. It would make a fine legacy for many to praise. I do however realise that coming by such concrete statistics is quite difficult in Vanuatu but it is an important prerequisite for a shock effect. And let's not even speak of our Fisheries Department... Goodluck to all. When the time is right, I would be happy 'pitching in' for a long-term article in the Island Spirit Mag.

Australia
Destination Expert
for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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2,369 posts
135 reviews
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24. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

Hi John, Island Spirit (Air Van in flight magazine) has a Facebook page maybe you could repost on that page?

nz
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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5,823 posts
240 reviews
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25. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

Hi John

Suggest you also post on the Pacific Islands forum on LP.

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forum.jspa…

Likely to reach many more past and future visitors to Vanuatu.

You're doing a great job!

Port Vila, Vanuatu
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1,031 posts
12 reviews
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26. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

Have placed the posting in Lonely Planet and writen to Island Spirit editor.

Will see...

Port Vila, Vanuatu
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12 reviews
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27. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

Just heard Chills restaurant have taken Coconut Crabs off the menu...need independent confirmation before giving them a big cheers!

Australia
Destination Expert
for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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2,369 posts
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28. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

How hilarious (or offensive depending on your point of view), the owner of Elan states in his response to a review that he buys 'ethically farmed' coconut crab! These crabs cannot be farmed only caught in the wild. They are more common on the furthest islands as they have been eaten out on all of the other islands of Vanuatu and will soon be eaten out from Hiw as well!

I bet they are still on his menu in May- Sept when they are breeding. There was no statement regarding crabs on his menu in February either.

Elan R, Owner at Elan, responded to this review

March 27, 2013

Thank you for your review.

As stated on our menu we only purchase coconut crab from HIW Island where there are millions of them and they are ethically farmed. We never bring them in during breeding season.

Moreton Island...
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29. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

Elan says there's millions of them? does the owner think we are all naive. I don't believe that they get coconut crabs from Hiw (Hiu) island as I doubt there's even an airfield, it's very isolated. In fact it's located between Espiritu Santo and the Solomons where the crab is also endangered.

Edited: 09 April 2013, 18:19
Port Vila
6 posts
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30. Re: Tripadvisor Restaurant Reviews.

La Tentation was sold mid last year and the new owners immediately removed coconut crab from the menu.

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