CITES and the value of wildlife: On the visibility and victimisation of the minke whale, queen conch and Atlantic bluefin tuna

Hutchinson, Alison (2021) CITES and the value of wildlife: On the visibility and victimisation of the minke whale, queen conch and Atlantic bluefin tuna. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral Thesis)
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With the mounting pressures of biodiversity loss, ecological destruction, and species extinction, the protection of life on Earth is arguably the greatest challenge of the twenty-first century. As a critical perspective, green criminology is in the prime position to confront these emerging issues and broaden the recognition towards the harmful – yet not currently criminalised – impacts on the environment and living beings. This thesis advances a nonspeciesist green criminological position by incorporating cultural and Southern criminological perspectives to investigate how attitudes towards marine species shape the recognition of harm and victimhood for marine species listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

To achieve this objective, this thesis presents three case studies of marine species who are commercially exploited: the minke whale, the queen conch, and the Atlantic bluefin tuna. The conservation management and state of trade for each species has been assessed through a mixed method qualitative/quantitative survey (162 respondents) and interviews with 35 expert stakeholders grouped by: governing body (management), socio-cultural (local interest), fishery (industry), and conservation (research) sectors. I have also conducted a review of trade data, fishery statistics, and CITES documents.

Together, these cases enable a narrow and specific examination of how socially defined perceptions surrounding each species relate to their treatment within CITES. The findings demonstrate how legal and moral perspectives diverge and are influenced by power asymmetries underlying the political, cultural, and economic value of each species. I develop on themes around cultures of consumption, and the combined yet conflicting motivations for economic growth and sustainable exploitation. In doing so, I demonstrate how these motivations have significant implications for species and environmental justice. Firstly, by devaluing and harming individual wildlife, and then through the joint victimisation and marginalisation of the people involved within these exploitative relationships.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: green criminology, wildlife trade, wildlife crime, conservation, speciesism
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2022 07:25
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2022 08:01

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