Australia pushes to boost crocodile exports

January 4, 2016
The population of Australian crocodiles has swollen since the reptiles were officially protected in 1971, posing dangers for swi
The population of Australian crocodiles has swollen since the reptiles were officially protected in 1971, posing dangers for swimmers, boaters and fishermen

Australian officials are looking to increase the export of crocodile products in 2016, after decades of official protection to stop them being hunted to extinction have increased their numbers.

Under a new Saltwater Crocodile Wildlife Trade Management Plan (WTMP), which came into effect at the start of the year, the Northern Territory's government wants to increase the trade in crocodile products, including skins.

"Significantly, the WTMP supports the growth of industry by allowing an annual harvest ceiling of 90,000 viable eggs and 1,200 animals," its Minister for Land Resource Management Minister Willem Westra van Holthe said in a statement.

"This represents a 40 percent increase for eggs and a 100 percent rise for animals over the previous five-year plan limit."

The eggs taken from the wild would be sent to crocodile farms for incubation, while live animals could be used for breeding or the export of skin and other body parts.

The local government hopes to benefit more from the deadly reptile, which is rounded up in the hundreds each year to protect residents.

The reptiles were considered a dangerous pest in the Northern Territory and hunted almost to extinction before being officially protected in 1971.

The population has swollen since then, posing dangers for swimmers, boaters and fishermen.

More than 250 were removed from waterways around Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, last year including a 4.25 metre-long (13.9 feet) male.

"Saltwater crocodiles were removed from many parts of the territory... including Darwin Harbour, the northern suburbs as well as tidal creeks and inlets, meaning they could be anywhere at any time," ranger Tom Nichols said.

The Australian government rejected the idea of crocodile safari hunts in 2014, with Environment Minister Greg Hunt saying they risked "cruel and inhumane" behaviour.

Explore further: In a while crocodile: safaris yet to be snapped up by Australia

Related Stories

Australia mulls crocodile safari hunts

June 14, 2012

Australia is mulling a plan to allow the trophy hunting of saltwater crocodiles, officials said Thursday, with the controversial idea being thrown open for public comment.

Burgeoning salty numbers pose safety risks

November 24, 2015

Rebounding saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) populations in the north Kimberley which are increasingly venturing into human-populated areas are raising the chances of tourists and locals having spine-tingling encounters ...

Malaysia scientists tag Borneo saltwater crocodile

June 29, 2011

Wildlife researchers in Malaysia are to track a saltwater crocodile by satellite, they said Wednesday, in a bid to find out why nearly 40 people have been attacked on Borneo island over a decade.

Dog, nappy and football found in Aussie croc

May 16, 2012

Rangers who shot a saltwater crocodile that was terrorising pets in northern Australia found a dog, a pair of shorts, a football and a nappy in its stomach, according to a local report.

Recommended for you

Ants need work-life balance, research suggests

January 16, 2017

As humans, we constantly strive for a good work-life balance. New findings by researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology suggest that ants, long perceived as the workaholics of the insect world, do the same.

New tools will drive greater understanding of wheat genes

January 16, 2017

Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have developed a much-needed genetic resource that will greatly accelerate the study of gene functions in wheat. The resource, a collection of wheat seeds with more than 10 million ...

How China is poised for marine fisheries reform

January 16, 2017

As global fish stocks continue sinking to alarmingly low levels, a joint study by marine fisheries experts from within and outside of China concluded that the country's most recent fisheries conservation plan can achieve ...

SMiLE-seq: A new technique speeds up genetics

January 16, 2017

Scientists at EPFL have developed a technique that can be a game-changer for genetics by making the characterization of DNA-binding proteins much faster, more accurate, and efficient.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lex Talonis
not rated yet Jan 04, 2016
I have seen a 25' long crocodile.....

HUGE.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.