18 Nov 2013

Solomons authorities investigating report of pest snail incursion

6:50 am on 18 November 2013

Solomon Islands biosecurity officials are investigating reports that an invasive snail species rife in Guadalcanal province has reached the neighbouring province of Malaita.

The Giant African Snail eats more than 500 plant species and has cost other countries millions of dollars to eradicate.

The director of biosecurity Francis Tsatsia says since the first incursion on Guadalcanal in 2006 attacks have occurred in other provinces but they been dealt with swiftly.

He says the latest sighting - of empty shells - is associated with a shipment of telecommunications equipment to Malaita.

"With that they brought some sand and gravel for foundation work and we are investigating that because they are carrying those sands and gravel from Honiara."

Francis Tsatsia says as a hermaphrodite the Giant African Snail reproduces prolifically, laying up to 400 snail eggs every three months.