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Parkview, South Africa

Lindsey P.A.,University of Pretoria | Romanach S.S.,Conservation Fund | Matema S.,University of Zimbabwe | Matema C.,University of Zimbabwe | And 2 more authors.

The prevalence and impacts of the illegal trade in bushmeat are under appreciated in Southern Africa, despite indications that it constitutes a serious conservation threat in parts of the region. Bushmeat trade has emerged as a severe threat to wildlife conservation and the viability of wildlife-based land uses in Zimbabwe during a period of political instability and severe economic decline. We conducted a study around Savé Valley Conservancy in the South-East Lowveld of Zimbabwe to investigate the dynamics and underlying causes of the bushmeat trade, with the objective of developing solutions. We found that bushmeat hunting is conducted mainly by unemployed young men to generate cash income, used mostly to purchase food. Bushmeat is mainly sold to people with cash incomes in adjacent communal lands and population centres and is popular by virtue of its affordability and availability. Key drivers of the bushmeat trade in the South-East Lowveld include: poverty, unemployment and food shortages, settlement of wildlife areas by impoverished communities that provided open access to wildlife resources, failure to provide stakes for communities in wildlife-based land uses, absence of affordable protein sources other than illegally sourced bushmeat, inadequate investment in anti-poaching in areas remaining under wildlife management, and weak penal systems that do not provide sufficient deterrents to illegal bushmeat hunters. Each of these underlying causes needs to be addressed for the bushmeat trade to be tackled effectively. However, in the absence of political and economic stability, controlling illegal bushmeat hunting will remain extremely difficult and the future of wildlife-based land uses will remain bleak. © 2011 Fauna & Flora International. Source

Plaganyi Eva T.,CSIRO | Plaganyi Eva T.,University of Cape Town | Butterworth D.,University of Cape Town | Burgener M.,TRAFFIC East Southern Africa
Fisheries Research

Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is a major problem in many of the world's fisheries. The stocks most severely impacted centre on those characterised by high economic value, such as abalone, as well as long lived and slow growing species such as Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides). Effective management of these stocks as well as assessment of the impacts of IUU fishing on the resources is impeded by the technical difficulties associated with determining the magnitude of the IUU catches. The South African abalone Haliotis midae fishery rates as an extreme example of extraordinarily high levels of illegal and unreported (IU) catch. To assess the level and trends in IU catches, we used a combination of approaches that included collation of confiscation records from law enforcement, development of a novel index (the confiscations per unit policing effort-CPUPE), estimation of illegal catches using a spatial and age-structured assessment model, and cross-checking of model outputs through comparison with trade data on abalone imports in destination countries. The model-predicted 2008 IU estimate was 860. tonnes, more than 10 times the total allowable catch (TAC) for that year, and implied that, on average, 14% of all IU catches are confiscated. Associated management responses included the listing of H. midae on Appendix III of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), and a temporary closure of the commercial fishery. We summarise both technical and management lessons to be learnt from this integrated approach to assess and verify the magnitude of IU fishing. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Raemaekers S.,University of Cape Town | Hauck M.,University of Cape Town | Burgener M.,TRAFFIC East Southern Africa | Mackenzie A.,Forestry and Fisheries | And 4 more authors.
Ocean and Coastal Management

The rise of organised illegal fishing and trade in abalone from the late 1990s destabilised South Africa's historically stable, quota-managed fishery, culminating in its closure in 2008. The development of the fishery is described in a historical context, including the evolution of South Africa's science-based abalone fishery management system. The diverse suite of responses deployed to combat illegal fishing and the black market trade in abalone are reviewed, including;- fishery reform to expand rights to a greater number of previously disadvantaged fishers, a territorial user rights fishery (TURF) system, special compliance operations and courts, the CITES listing of abalone, and the serial reduction in the TAC, culminating in the controversial and legally contested closure of the fishery. The main causes of the rise of the illegal fishery are diagnosed as 1) the massive increase in the abalone price that occurred in the 1990s triggering an abalone fishing " gold-rush" and 2) the failure of the post-Apartheid fishery reform process to accommodate many traditional fishers in a legal fishing rights framework resulting in them operating outside the formal fishery management system. By contextualising the abalone fishery as a complex system, embedded in South Africa's socio-political setting, we show how the resource focussed fishery management system did not have the capacity to incorporate the powerful social, political and economic drivers determining fisher behaviour. We conclude with the need to revisit South Africa's abalone fishery management paradigm, and argue that a more integrated governance approach is required that takes into account the biological, socio-political and economic factors determining the fishery activities. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Lindsey P.A.,Lion Program | Lindsey P.A.,University of Pretoria | Balme G.,Lion Program | Balme G.,University of Cape Town | And 28 more authors.
Biological Conservation

The bushmeat trade, or the illegal acquisition and exchange of wild meat, has long been recognised as a severe problem in forest biomes, but receives little attention in savannas, perhaps due to a misconception that bushmeat hunting is a low-impact subsistence activity. Though data on impacts are scarce, indications are that bushmeat hunting is a widespread problem in savannas, with severe impacts on wildlife populations and wildlife-based land uses. The impacts of the bushmeat trade in savannas vary from edge-effects around protected areas, to disproportionate declines of some species, to severe wildlife declines in areas with inadequate anti-poaching. In some areas, bushmeat contributes significantly to food security, but these benefits are unsustainable, and hunting is wasteful, utilising a fraction of the wildlife killed or of its financial value obtainable through tourism, trophy hunting and/or legal game meat production. The bushmeat trade appears to be becoming increasingly commercialised due to elevated demand in rural areas, urban centres and even overseas cities. Other drivers for the trade include human encroachment of wildlife areas; poverty and food insecurity; and inadequate legal frameworks to enable communities to benefit legally from wildlife, and to create incentives for people to desist from illegal bushmeat hunting. These drivers are exacerbated by inadequate wildlife laws and enforcement and in some areas, political instability. Urgent efforts are needed to address these drivers and raise awareness among local and international governments of the seriousness of the threat. Failure to address this will result in severe wildlife declines widely in African savannas, with significant ecological, economic and social impacts. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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