Crocodile farming in Nigeria is carried out informally, and in its vast majority illegally. While there are crocodiles in that region should be raised and taken measures for their protection and conservation. The crocodile skin market is carried as a kind of black market. However, it is possible to export to several countries. In addition, it has a high demand. There are several specimens that they use for the production of crocodile products in that region. Although by the decrease of the population of crocodiles on some occasions the hunters tend to look for the species in near places.
A study conducted by the University of Ibadan has revealed that there were nearly 2,000 crocodile farms in Nigeria and many more being set up. With an annual increase of 10% per year, it is estimated that there will be 10,000 farms by 2020. The industry employs about 5 million people and generates over $1 billion annually for the Nigerian economy.
Year after year the market for crocodile skins is increasing in Nigeria. Activity that takes to a large extent in the northern part of the country. Something that the authorities fear is that the demand for these animals will lead to their extinction. There are even people who already have decades dedicated to the production of crocodile skins and other reptiles. And economically this activity has worked for them. When there are high production rates they can produce up to 20,000 crocodiles in a month.
The market widens and the demand for products increases. The products that they extract from the crocodile are mostly exported to other countries. For example, the skin is exported to Arab countries and China. While the meat of the crocodiles is consumed by the population of Nigeria. But is transferred to the south of the country. The sale of the skin reaches between 50 and 200 $.
Regulations of Crocodile Farming in Nigeria
In Nigeria, there is no strong regulation regarding the production and export of crocodile skins and sub-products. In this country, this activity is illegal, and the farms that carry out this activity do not have permits to carry it out. That is why there are some environmentalists who make strong statements against crocodile production. And the fear is that there are already 2 species that have reached extinction in that country.
It may be that if it continues to be produced without taking action, several species reach total extinction in Nigeria. That is why 90% of fur production in that country is illegally producing. The law that protects the crocodile in Nigeria has no restriction on the sale of the skins. That law is more than 30 years old, and because it has no restriction, people in the region can market the skins.
To export, the skins can do it by plane, as long as they pay the authorities to carry them. Although the production of skins is prohibited, the commercialization of them is not. That is why environmentalists are the ones who are fighting against the sale of animal skins in danger of extinction. They even blame the government because they are the ones who should establish parameters so that the illegal sale of skins of animals in extinction is not carried out.
And in the case that the production is legal the farms must conserve and preserve the species, and not bring the species to extinction. In addition, they should impose fines and penalties on people who carry out these activities illegally. For what the Law they have should make many changes and adapt them to what happens today. Only then would the demand decrease and the exploitation of the species also reduce.
In Nigeria, there is no conservation system for a higher birth rate in crocodiles. Since in spite of the fact that demand is on the rise, the mortality rate is much higher due to production. And the birth rate is low since the production farms do not take prevention to produce more eggs and more crocodile offspring. The circumstance has damaged the species and makes the number of individuals in the population fall drastically.
This situation not only threatens the species with extinction, which has alerted environmentalists in the region. It also has an impact on production, since although there is demand, the number of species decreases. So in the long term if the farms do not care about the preservation and conservation of the species this activity will come to an end. The species that are in the wild have not been able to regenerate since the crocodiles that kill are badly high than those that are born. You may also like to read Crocodile farming requirements.
In Nigeria, one of the species that most inhabits is the Nile crocodile, however, the number of individuals in the region is few. If the numbers of this species continue to decline it may reach extinction in Nigeria. Another species found in this region is the dwarf crocodile from West Africa. Even the species are few, and the number of individuals is so low that the hunters of the region have gone to other areas to hunt for the production of crocodiles. You may also like to read about Crocodile farming in Kenya.
While crocodile production is illegal, the few people who have become interested in crocodile farming have given up. And it’s because they hope to have short-term results. And crocodiles take at least 5 years to reproduce, and from the beginning, it will take at least 10 years to have specimens large enough to produce skins.
As long as government agencies do not take action on the matter and do not regulate the hunting and production of crocodiles, this may lead to their extinction. And it is something that will continue to happen, as well as the numbers of the individuals in the population. People without having a legal basis to regulate them are not aware of the activities they perform. Therefore, in addition to the country having a regulation, it is necessary to encourage crocodile breeding and the preservation of them. Since they manage it as a trade, however, this activity has led 2 species to extinction in that region.
As a reference: Wikipedia