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2 October 2009
Environment Minister Peter Garrett today approved the Northern Territory’s saltwater crocodile management plan for the next five years, but excluded the commercial safari hunting of crocodiles.
“This management plan will enable the crocodile industry in the Northern Territory to continue exporting crocodile products for a further five years on an ecologically sustainable basis,” Mr Garrett said.
“But after careful consideration, I have decided not to approve the proposal to introduce commercial safari hunting.
“I have weighed carefully the evidence presented in the proposal, as well as the views expressed during the public comment period, including those conveyed to me by people directly affected by crocodiles.”
“Consistent with decision of previous environment ministers on this issue, I am of the view that safari hunting is not a suitable approach for the responsible management of crocodiles.
“Importantly, my decision not to approve safari hunting does not prevent the controlled removal of problem crocodiles to protect the public and livestock. The management plan includes separate and expanded arrangements for removal of crocodiles from urban areas.”
The management plan provides for an initial maximum harvest of 50 000 eggs, 400 juveniles, 500 hatchlings and 500 adults. In the following years, the egg quota may increase to 60 000 and then 70 000 if population monitoring supports an increase.
“I am satisfied that the harvest of crocodiles and eggs proposed in this management plan will ensure the population remains at a sustainable level, and includes adequate measures to prevent any long-term drop in population,” Mr Garrett said.
“In considering this plan and the NT Government’s proposals I have sought to ensure a balance between environmental protection and appropriate management of these animals in the Top End.”