Monday, 26 June 2017

Mareeba crocodile farmers says farms would support opportunity for egg harvest trials, Cairns, Australia - via Herp Digest

Tom Volling, The Cairns Post, 6/22/17

A CROCODILE farmer has welcomed plans to run a wild egg harvesting trial in a small Cape York community as his Mareeba property continues to expand.
It comes after Environment Minister Stephen Miles visited Pormpuraaw to see the community’s half-empty crocodile farm and declare his support for a scientific trial.

But some are suggesting the Northern Territory’s crocodile management plan is proof enough that harvesting is a viable option.
Melaleuca Crocodile Farm owner Juergen Arnold said it was a step in the right direction.

“It works in the Northern Territory ... that is the right way to start with,” he said.
“Harvesting would keep the population down a bit in the long term, but it wouldn’t solve the current problem.”

Mr Arnold said there would definitely be demand from Queensland crocodile farmers, with his own property currently growing and building new pens.
“We are on the right path and if there would be eggs available for a reasonable price, we would be interested,” he said.

“Whether it is to apply for A harvesting licence or buying them.”
The Environment Department plans to work with an academic researcher, but that is yet to be finalised.

“Our plan to allow crocodile egg harvesting continues and we are seeking a scientific partner to work with us,” Minister Miles said.

“The key part of that program is whether they can harvest eggs without impacting the crocodiles and their habitat.”

No timeline for the trial has been foreshadowed.

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who travelled to Pormpuraaw in the 80s as a crocodile farmer, said he did not believe trials were needed.

“The reality is this is a tried and proved practice that has been in operation now in the Northern Territory for the past 30 to 40 years,” he said.

“It will work, simple as that ... the thing that concerns me is they are not allowing broad enough scope to make it viable.”

Me Entsch said egg harvesting would create jobs for the small Aboriginal community and improve conservation.

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