Thailand plans to resubmit a proposal to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) to ease the protection requirements for freshwater crocodiles in the hope of developing more crocodile product exports.
According to the Department of Fisheries, Thailand has 809 crocodile farms and exports about 2 billion baht worth of related products each year.
The farms can produce 200,000 fresh water crocodiles a year with a total trade value of 3.5 billion to 4 billion baht annually.
However, only 23 of the farms have been registered with Cites. If Thailand can convince the group to downgrade freshwater crocodile protection from Appendix I, which covers species under threat of extinction, to Appendix II, the country would see substantial growth in crocodile exports.
According to the Fisheries Department, Thailand needed to give importance to crocodile conservation by ensuring that they can survive and breed on their own in a natural habitat until their numbers are high enough.
In March, Cites rejected Thailand's proposal to ease the protection of saltwater and freshwater crocodiles. The proposal received less than two-thirds of the votes needed for approval.