From Snailbusters blog:
In spite of a growing demand for taro products, (taro) yields have declined in Hawaii over the past 50 years, with the lowest production (4M lbs) recorded in 2007. Urbanization took an early toll, but diseases and pests have had a major, negative influence on taro production in recent years. Most notably, the invasive, exotic, Channeled Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata) has become a severe agricultural pest in the taro pondfields, called “lo’i”. First introduced in Maui in 1983-84 for the aquarium trade and an alternative food source, P. canaliculata is now found on every major Hawaiian island, save one.
Though generating $2.7M in 2008, 105 taro farms survive tenuously in Hawaii today because of taro imports, land, water, and labor shortages, plus an array of new diseases and pests. The Channeled Apple Snail, however, may be the one pest that pushes taro farmers over the edge.
For more, see: Aloha, Poi?