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Trends in Organized Crime (2016)
  • Greg Warchol

The illicit trade in African wildlife has a lengthy history with devastating effect on select
species. While considerable research addresses the impact of the trade on rhinoceros
and elephant, the poaching of the reptiles, birds and marine life comprises a significantly
greater volume of wildlife yet receives somewhat less attention. To better
understand these aspects of the illegal trade, this study focuses on abalone, a
highly desired and protected shellfish found off the Western Cape of South
Africa and heavily targeted by poachers to meet demand in South Africa and
parts of East Asia. Relying on qualitative data from field research, this study
examines the nature of the illicit trade including poachers, smuggling
techniques and the challenges for enforcement of the conservation laws through
the lens of routine activity theory. The results indicate that routine
activities theory may provide a viable theoretical construct to better
understand the nature of abalone poaching and develop solutions to the problem.

  • Poaching,
  • South Africa,
  • Routine Activities Theory,
  • Cape Town,
  • Wildlife Trafficking
Publication Date
Winter January 28, 2016
Citation Information
Greg Warchol. "Abalone.pdf" Trends in Organized Crime (2016)
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