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Why does illegal wildlife trade persist in spite of legal alternatives in transboundary regions?


Busilacchi, S and Butler, JRA and van Putten, I and Cosijn, M and Posu, J and Fitriana, R and Slamet, A, Why does illegal wildlife trade persist in spite of legal alternatives in transboundary regions?, Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 27, (1) pp. 51-68. ISSN 1087-1209 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

DOI: doi:10.1080/10871209.2021.1876963


Both the characteristics of the value chains and the social-ecological context within which they exist are important to uncover motivations for engagement in legal and illegal value chains. Beche-de-mer (dried sea cucumbers), shark fins, and fish maw (dried swim bladders) are valued products in the South Fly region of Papua New Guinea (PNG). We applied value chain analysis (VCA) to map the ‘vertical’ characteristics of trade and ‘horizontal’ contextual issues driving the trade. Vertical VCA showed that both legal and illegal value chains end in the same Asian cities, but using different routes. Prices offered by illegal middlemen to PNG fishers were significantly lower than those offered by legal buyers. Horizontal analysis showed five drivers (lack of information, obligatory dependencies to middlemen, kinship ties, need for cash, inaccessibility of legal markets) for accepting lower prices. We recommend interventions necessary to tackle these systemic drivers of illegal trade.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:beche-de-mer, borderlands, fish maw, illegal wildlife trade, livelihoods, shark fin, transboundary, value chain analysis
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Trade and environment
UTAS Author:van Putten, I (Dr Ingrid Van Putten)
ID Code:146056
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2021-08-19
Last Modified:2022-03-17

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