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Cetacean by-Catch in the Korean Peninsula—by Chance or by Design?

MacMillan, Douglas C., Han, Jeonghee (2011) Cetacean by-Catch in the Korean Peninsula—by Chance or by Design? Human Ecology, 39 (6). pp. 757-768. ISSN 0300-7839. (doi:10.1007/s10745-011-9429-4) (KAR id:28626)


Whaling remains one of the most contentious issues in global conservation. In South Korea, where commercial and subsistence whaling are both illegal, domestic sales of cetacean products such as skin, blubber and red meat are allowed if they are accidently caught. However, environmental groups have claimed that the high price of meat may be acting as an incentive for illegal hunting and ‘deliberate by-catch’ where whales are intentionally killed or left to die by fishermen when they become trapped in their nets. In this paper we investigate the issue of deliberate by-catch and illegal hunting of the protected Minke J-stock population in Korean waters using grounded theory, an approach that allows theories and understanding to emerge from the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. Our research suggests that deliberate by-catch is almost certainly taking place but that illegal hunting and/or illegal importation from Japan may be far more significant sources of Minke whale meat. We discuss possible measures to reduce incentives for deliberate by-catch and illegal hunting such as the introduction of mandatory reporting of quantities supplied and consumed in restaurants and a tax on meat sales at auction. More generally, our research illustrates how the analysis of price movements can shed light on the scale of illegal wildlife trade and how a combination of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies can provide understanding of a complex, multifaceted conservation issue.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s10745-011-9429-4
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Douglas MacMillan
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2012 13:36 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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MacMillan, Douglas C..

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