15 Apr 2015

Clampdown on crabs from Niue

1:56 pm on 15 April 2015

Failed attempts to cut the number of coconut crabs being sent out of Niue have prompted the government to ban their export.

Niue's quarantine department says despite a partial ban, about 10,000 coconut crabs, or uga, were taken out of the country by visitors or locals last year.

The Department of Natural Resources says this export is the main reason for the declining uga population.

The head of quarantine and director of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Brendon Pasisi, says a previous seasonal ban did not halt the decline.

"This is the first time that we are moving to fully implement this ban so basically from now on, no uga, or no coconut crab, can be exported out of Niue until further notice."

Brendon Pasisi says the government is working with New Zealand agencies who will assist with enforcing the ban.

A coconut crab climbs a coconut tree Vanuatu.

A coconut crab climbs a coconut tree Vanuatu. Photo: AFP