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Explaining and Controlling Illegal Commercial Fishing: An Application of the CRAVED Theft Model

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 54 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2014 Pages: 73-90
Gohar A. Petrossian; Ronald V. Clarke
Date Published
January 2014
18 pages
This study examined why some fish species are at greater risk than others of being illegally caught by commercial fishers.
Study findings were consistent with the CRAVED model of what makes an item a high risk for theft; i.e., it is more "Concealable," more "Removable," more "Abundant" and "Accessible," more "Valuable," more "Enjoyable," and more "Disposable." In the case of illegal fishing, this model indicates that the fish most likely to be targeted by commercial fishers can be more readily sold through more ports of convenience; can be caught with longline vessels; are more abundant and accessible to known illegal fishing countries; are larger and thus more valuable; are used more often in recipes; and are in high demand on the market. These findings suggest that fisheries law enforcement authorities should focus on ports of convenience, monitor longliners, exert pressure on known illegal fishing countries, and educate consumers about vulnerable species. The study used a matched case-control design. Fifty-eight fish species known to be targeted internationally by illegal commercial fishers were identified by consulting 16 sources, 12 of which were consumer guides about sustainable fish. Theses 58 species were individually matched with 58 fish not included in these sources. In order to ensure the comparability of the two groups matching was achieved using a standard classification of fish. The two groups were then compared for their scores on specially developed measures of the CRAVED elements. In addition, correlations were calculated between the CRAVED scores of each of the 58 illegally fished species and the number of sources in which they were listed as illegally fished (risk scores). 2 tables, 45 references, and appended 58 matched pairs of illegally caught and legally caught fish