Environmental Threats

Statistics and information about criminal threats to the environment. Illegal logging, illegal fishing, smuggling and other environmental destruction committed by organized crime is collected from wildlife charities and public information sources.

Illegal fishing activities catches up to $1.6 Billion worth of seafood that enters the food industry in the European Union.

(What is the black market?)

Source:  Elisabeth Rosenthal, “Something’s fishy as Europe dines,” New York Times, January 14, 2008.


The price of a single pound of shark fin is between $200 to $400.

The shark fin is used for soup dishes that are popular in China.

Source:  John Berman and Sarah Rosenberg, “‘Sharkwater’: Turning the Page on ‘Jaws’,” ABC News Nightline, October 26, 2007.

Traffickers in Africa were arrested after attempting to sell rare mountain Gorillas for $8,000 each.

Source: Joe Baiver, “Congo rangers break suspected gorilla traffic ring,” Reuters, September 25, 2007.

A smuggler was charged by authorities in California for stealing endangered iguanas from a nature preserve in Fiji.  According to law enforcement officials, the man smuggled the iguanas into America through his prosthetic leg.

Based on recording made to an undercover officer, the smuggler stated that he previously offered 3 iguanas for sale at the price of $32,000, or roughly $10,600 each.

See a complete list of exotic animals for sale on the black market here.

Source: “Man ‘steals iguanas in fake leg’ ,” BBC News, September 22, 2007.