Wildlife poaching has long been a subject of interest in academia. Research by biologists, zoologists and environmental scientists mostly focused on the impact of these crimes on wildlife populations and their habitat. More recently, criminologists interested in different types of environmental crimes, have started studying poaching.
This is because of the realisation that poaching affects more than wildlife: it has implications for developing nations’ economies and often involves transnational criminal enterprises.
Theories developed to understand street criminals’ behaviour are now being applied to green criminology. The hope is that this will help identify the causes of wildlife crimes, provide offender profiles and facilitate practical solutions. One of the focus areas is abalone poaching. It’s an in-demand and expensive delicacy, and wild and farmed abalone fisheries are common in the Western Cape. MORE
Header Image: The value of abalone increased as it moves from traffickers and later to overseas wholesalers. Credit: Shutterstock.