- Animals: shellfish
- Animal Production: feed/forage, housing, animal protection and health, feed additives, mineral supplements, watering systems
- Crop Production: nutrient cycling
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
- Production Systems: holistic management
On Rota in the Northern Mariana Islands, about 5% of ranchers have for several decades grown captive populations of coconut crop. The demand for this delicacy, which sells for $50 a plate in tourist restaurants, has far exceeded annual production of farm-raised crabs, so the bulk of consumption has come from hunted wild crabs, which has impacted their natural populations. This grant intends to increase the number of captive coconut crabs, which will relieve hunting pressure on wild crab populations, provide a source of income for the indigenous people who raise them and increase the diversity of the Mariana’s farming systems. This grant will test the success of growing the coconut crabs with a more nutritious diet than the traditional coconut fruit in the husk. In addition, it will see how the crabs respond in a clean environment with fresh water and adequate shade. Project coordinator Henry Atalig has been growing the crabs on his ranch for decades, and he and his son hope to increase the size of their crab herd using scientifically balanced products found through the Internet.