Another claim put forward by the crocodile industry is it's alright to steal a few eggs because female salt-water crocodiles produce up to 2500 eggs over their lifetime. It's another claim that sounds fine until you subject it to scientific scrutiny. Of these 2500 eggs produced over approximately 40 years, only 1% survive to breeding age. This means that over 40 years, a breeding female salt water crocodile will only produce 25 adult crocodiles. And bear in mind, salties are already classified by the Queensland Government’s own Environmental Protection Agency as a vulnerable species.
Then would come the problem of policing such a scheme to make sure that so-called "sustainable use" did not become no-holds barred plunder, and unfortunately the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the funding and staff to do the job.
If it were ever introduced, the future of these magnificent creatures who have survived for millennia would left in the hands of an industry for whom they are nothing more than a way to make money.
Another species threatened by the deadly combination of "sustainable use" and widespread ignorance is the kangaroo. Yes, that's right, the kangaroo.
Most people think they are present in huge numbers "out west"; that they wipe out crops, and are a menace to anyone who has to drive through the area at night, especially if you don't have a "bull bar".
Even people sympathetic to the cause of wildlife protection can be convinced that allowing commercial shooters to kill a few roos for their skins and meat is a good move.
Think again. The traditional kangaroo mob has all but disappeared in Australia. Understandably, shooters target the biggest, healthiest roos they come across. Unfortunately, these are also the most prolific breeders and the leaders of the mob.
When they are taken out, the results are devastating for the kangaroo population. Already the eastern grey and the red kangaroo are threatened species.
Australia’s record of extinct, endangered and threatened species is amongst the worst in the world.
Let us never be dismissive of compassion and altruism when it is directed at helping animals.
Species and landscapes are important, but species are made up of living, breathing, feeling individuals, just like us, so let us conserve and care for them, as well as their landscapes.
And 'sustainability' is a fine word and a good concept, but not if it is attached to an exploitative industry.
It is now time for urgent action, focused research and a sustained public effort from all Australians to save our unique wildlife before it is too late.