- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
The Australian government is looking to increase the export of crocodile products, after protecting the reptile since the Seventies, because they claim there are now too many in the wild.
Under a new Saltwater Crocodile Wildlife Trade Management Plan (WTMP), which came into effect at the start of 2016, the Northern Territory’s government has stated that it wants to increase the trade in crocodile products, including skins.
In a statement, minister for Land Resource Management, Willem Westra van Holthe said: "Significantly, the WTMP supports the growth of industry by allowing an annual harvest ceiling of 90,000 viable eggs and 1,200 animals.”
He added that the plan will see a 40 percent increase in egg harvesting, which will see the eggs taken from the wild placed in incubators on crocodile farms, and a 100 percent rise for animals over the previous five-year plan limit. The live animals could then be used for breeding or the export of skin and body parts.
The Australian government is hoping that they can benefit more from the crocodile, which has seen its population increase in recent years, and has become a danger for swimmers, boaters and fishermen. Figures estimate that there could be as many as 200,000 saltwater crocodiles wild in Australia.
Crocodile leather is used by the fashion industry to create items including handbags, footwear and small leather goods.