Let's face it, most of our wild-caught herps come from "economically depressed" countries, where the money that an indigenous collector makes may be his only income. I don't want to take that away from someone, and I don't think they'd like it taken from them.
That's one of the findings in the Bennet report from what Dr. Fry told me. And I agree with what you say about the economics of the industry. It is huge in the U.S., take Bob Clark for example. He posted a picture recently on his forums of some of his retic eggs. He has 500 in the incubator and that's from only half of his females. He's not breeding those numbers just for $h!ts and giggles.
The same is beginning to happen here. Money talks. And when looking at the value of some of the specimens and morphs becoming available here, it's easy to see this is quickly becoming big buisness and not just something done by some arm-chair biologists.
As I said earlier there are alot of prominant herpatologists speaking out infavour of the industry. Mark O'Shea appears often at conventions, and Dr. Fry is an out spoken advocate of conservation through commercialisation. These people carry more weight than what's his name. I even think Jesus Rivas is also in favour of the industry as is Rob Bennet.
I do think we will be okay, but I think we should be united and that perhaps this is a good time to think about a national herp organization. Competion, and ego need to be put aside for the good of the industry, our right to keep the animals we love, and for those animals directly.