Posts Tagged ‘poaching’
A story by photographer Brent Stirton and me on the global ivory trade, BLOOD IVORY: Ivory Worship, is up on National Geographic.com.
Here is a very cool case of poaching in the United States that gives you a small sense of what it’s like to go after wildife criminals in countries where eating wildlife is a regular part of the culture/economy. The poachers here are taking striped bass out of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Big deal, right? We all eat fish. Many of us fish. I’ve fished my whole life and never managed to catch a single striper. How bad could it be? Plus, the watermen of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia represent a long, honorable tradition. When I first heard of this investigation two years ago I thought, Man, what a joke, but that kind of thinking is what lets criminals over-exploit the world around us. There is money in what we ignore, and all around the world people ignore all kinds of wildlife.
Read this amazing story and you’ll see that just as in the case of Anson Wong and other kingpins around the world, this criminal operation represents exploitation on a commercial scale. It is intentional, large-scale exploitation of wildlife and it is very big money. I know a few of the guys involved (and a woman :-)) in prosecuting this case, and it’s a great success for wildlife.
The Baltimore Sun 10:38 PM EST, December 4, 2010
For years, crooked Maryland and Virginia watermen went to local courts and paid their fines for illegal fishing — $50, $100, $150 — and then went back to their boats to poach some more.
They considered it the cost of doing business, investigators say. But a partnership of state and federal law enforcement officials changed the game. With the sentencing last week of the final player, the Interagency Wildlife Task Force laid waste to the largest commercial fish poaching ring in the history of the Chesapeake Bay. (more…)