Rep suggests crocodile-free zones

Members of the Samarahan Crocodile Hunters (SCH) making a special coverage at the Meranek river, Kota Samarahan following two reports of crocodile attack in a span of one month in the area. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Several crocodile-free zones need to be established in selected areas throughout the state to ensure fishermen are free to seek catch without the risk of being threatened by crocodiles.

Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang.

Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang said this during a crocodile hunting operation held at the old Muara Tuang Ferry base here on Wednesday.

“Apart from that, we must also create crocodile zones in selected areas, which are gazetted by the law, so that we can breed crocodiles for commercial purposes.

“This should be done immediately and thoroughly because we do not want this crocodile issue to be prolonged and endless,” he said.

Idris, who is also the director of Samarahan Crocodile Hunters (SCH), said some suggestions on the management of the crocodile population, including creating a crocodile breeding industry as has been done in Sabah, the Philippines and Australia, will be submitted to the state government after he received feedback from all stakeholders in Muara Tuang.

“The small crocodiles will be killed for their skins (on the stomach) and their carcasses will be planted upstream according to the prescribed procedure.

“The skins must be processed in the right way. Otherwise it will become rotten and cannot be marketed.

“As we know, crocodile skins are very popular to be made as handbags, shoes and other accessories, where the price can reach tens of thousands of ringgit per gram,” said the Muara Tuang assemblyman, adding that as for the meat, only healthy young crocodiles can be processed as food (according to certified veterinary guidelines).

Commenting on SCH, he said he hoped the group would be incorporated into a legal body so that anyone with a firearms licence and crocodile hunting permit from the Sarawak Forestry Corporation could be a guide for fishermen to venture into crocodile farming.

On Tuesday (Jan 19), SHC managed to capture two 10-foot crocodiles in Sungai Meranek here. The operation was carried out following two reports of crocodile attacks in Kampung Meranek in the span of one month — Dec 14 last year and Jan 12 this year.

Idris (second left) inspecting the captured crocodiles yesterday morning at the Muara Tuang old ferry port. Photo: Herriey Naha.