Between 1998 to 2012, there were 72 suspected poaching and illegal fishing of endangered freshwater Pearl Mussel in the rivers of Scotland. 45 of the criminal poaching took place during the last four years.
The protected mussel was found in 155 Scottish rivers at the beginning of the 1900s. Due to illegal fishing, the mussel is currently found in one-thirds of the rivers.
Across Europe, around 90 percent of mussels have been killed in the 20th century.
The mussel can live for over 100 years and produce pearls that are used in luxury items.
Source: Martin Williams, “Rare pearl mussel at risk due to illegal poaching,” Herald Scotland, May 13, 2013.
Mexican State Oil Company Pemex discovered 1,744 illegal siphons of its oil pipelines in 2012, a 23.2 percent increase from the 1,416 illegal siphons in 2011.
The rate of oil theft continued to increase into 2013, as the company discovered 730 illegal siphons in the first four months of the year, compared to 377 during the same time the year before.
In the first four months of 2013, security personnel have arrested 48 people for siphoning oil from pipelines and arrested 180 people for oil smuggling activities.
Source: James Bargent, “Oil and Gas Theft in Mexico Doubled in 2013,” Insight Crime, May 10, 2013.
According to a report by Oceana, the annual catch of Sockeye Salmon in Russia is estimated to be 60 to 90 percent higher than the reported levels due to illegal fishing activities. The illegal haul creates a loss of $40 Million to $74 Million.
Source: Deborah Zabarenko, “Fish piracy costs $10 billion to $23 billion a year -report,” Reuters, May 8, 2013.
According to wildlife protection organizations, between 3,500 to 5,000 manta rays are killed each year for their gills.
A fisherman in Asia is able to make up to $40 for each Manta ray gill that he sells. The dried gills end up in China being sold for up to $2,000.
The estimated value of the illegal trade in Manta rays is between $5 Million to $10 Million a year. In areas where the Manta ray are living, the economic value of the species to the tourism industry is worth $100 Million.
In the waters off of Indonesia, the population of Manta rays has declined by 56 percent. In Sri Lanka, the population has declined by 86 percent.
Source: Damian Carrington, “Manta rays: how illegal trade eats its own lunch,” Guardian, Environment Blog, March 5, 2013.
The number of wildlife smuggling cases in India detected by the Wildlife Crimes Control Bureau has been steadily increase over 3 years.
In 2009-2010, the bureau identified 205 cases of wildlife being smuggled by traffickers into the black market. In 2010-2011, the number of smuggling incidents increased to 245, and rose again in 2011-2012 to 312.
Media in the country reported that over a thousand websites were involved in selling endangered animals online.
Source: Akhila Vijayaraghavan, “The shady business of online wildlife trade,” Mongbay.com, April 30, 2013.
The illegal trade in wildlife, animals and other endangered speicies in the East Asia and the Pacific region is estimated to be valued at $2.5 Billion a year, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The ilegal trade in marine wildlife in the region is valued at $850 Million a year.
(Price list of endangered animals.)
Source: “Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment,” UNODC, April 2013, Executive Summary, page viii.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that the value of logging traded out of East Asia and the Pacific that was unlicensed is worth $17 Billion. The amount of the illegal logging trade in the region makes up to 30 to 40 percent of all timber and wood products exported.
Source: ”Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment,” UNODC, April 2013, Executive Summary, page viii.
Wildlife traffickers sell the bladder of the Totoaba fish in China and Hong Kong for up to $200,000.
The fish is listed as an endangered species and is protected under the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species.
The bladder is considered a delicacy in China and is used in fish maw soup. Consumers believe that the bladder helps improve blood circulation, skin complexion, and fertility.
(See additional prices of endangered animals.)
Source: Associated Press, “7 charged with smuggling bladders of endangered fish to China, elsewhere for use in soup,” Washington Post, April 24, 2013.
An estimated 8 million tons of e-waste is illegally smuggled and dumped in China each year. According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, most of the electrical and electronic waste is dumped in Guangdong Province. The waste is then recycled and sold to the manufacturing industry.
The estimated value of this black market in e-waste in the East Asia region is $3.75 Billion.
Source: ”Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment,” UNODC, April 2013, Executive Summary, page ix.
During a span of five years, over 60,000 animals from 119 different species were estimated to have been smuggled out of Bolivia.
Wildlife protection officials in the country estimate that wildlife trafficking is a multi-million dollar industry in the country.
Source: Miriam Wells, “Bolivia Seizes Thousands Of Contraband Caimans,” Insight Crime, April 22, 2013.