The Northern Territory Government has opened consultation for its Draft Saltwater Crocodile Management Program 2024-2034, which will allow for the public to have input on how the Territory’s more than 100,000 crocodiles are managed.
The plan will build on the previous saltwater crocodile management program, which includes the conservation and sustainable harvest of crocodiles and the management of risk to human safety.
The Government says it wants to hear from landowners, business operators and the general public.
“The management of crocodiles is important for public safety and the continued growth of lucrative industries like croc farming and tourism,” said Minister for the Environment, Kate Worden.
“We have removed more than 3,000 crocodiles over the past 12 years, we want to hear from you whether we should remove more.
“We will consider all submissions made during this consultation period before the final Saltwater Crocodile Management Program is released.”
The crocodile industry is worth at least $25 million to the Territory economy. Up to 90,000 croc eggs are harvested from the wild each year.
Chief Minister, Eva Lawler said the Territory was globally renowned for its production of high quality crocodile skins.
Crocodiles are also a significant drawcard for the Territory’s tourism industry and are part of the appeal for tourists to holiday in Top End, she said.
“When culling stopped in the Northern Territory in the 1970s we had around 3000 crocodiles. There is now estimated to be more than 100,000 crocodiles,” said Ms Lawler.
“We have current programs around population management, through egg collection and targeted removal and want to hear from you on whether you feel there is room for improvement.
“What this consultation work will tell us is your thoughts on how we can go about croc management, including croc culling in a safe, sustainable way.”
As with previous programs, the revised Program aims to achieve a balance between sustainable use of the species and human safety.
Visit the Have Your Say website haveyoursay.nt.gov.au/management-program-for-saltwater-crocodile-in-the-nt to view the draft document, and provide comments by 28 February 2024.