Sarawak is proposing to down-list the Bornean crocodile or 'crocodylus porous' from its current Cites Appendix 1 to Appendix 2.
Sarawak Forestry Corporation Chief Executive Officer Datuk Ali Yusop said this was because its population had increased due to the effective conservation programme taken.
"In our first ever survey done in 1985 on our 23 river systems, we have one crocodile for every 10 kilometres.
"Today we have seen something like between three to six individuals per kilometre. This is a big increase,"he told reporters after the opening ceremony of the two-day 2014 Borneo Crocodile Forum here today.
The Convention On International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) Appendix 1 is for listed animals and plants threatened with extinction and their international trade is banned. The Appendix 2 is for listed species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction but may become so unless trade is closely controlled.
Ali, meanwhile, said the state government was looking at the possibility of developing an eco-tourism products of its crocodiles, based on Australian and American models.
"We already have people involved like the Jong's Crocodile Farm in Kuching and in Sibuti, Miri where there is a homestay which offers river cruise to watch crocodile in the evening," he said, adding that there were now a number of individual companies initiating crocodile watch as their tourism offers.
He said the crocodile industry was not just about tourism but also involved the sustainable harvesting of crocodile meat, leather and others.
On another matter, Ali said the government had gazetted the Kuching Wetland National Park in Kuching and the Pulau Seduku in Batang Lupar in the Sri Aman Division as crocodile santuaries.
"We are looking at other places like Ulu Sungai Bako in Kuching and Sibuti for the same purpose," he said.
On crocodile-human conflicts in the state, he said there were four non fatal attacks this year while last year six individuals were attacked of whom four were killed.