Factors affecting on illegal fishing of Persian sturgeon (Acipenser persicus) in the southern Caspian Sea
Concerns on illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) are increasing. Therefore, it is essential to assess the factors related to illegal
fishing occurrence. Sturgeons of the Caspian Sea are exposed to the extinction risk, and thus, we aimed to identify and investigate factors
affecting on illegal fishing of Persian sturgeon (Acipenser persicus) in the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. Here, a quantitative data
collection survey was undertaken using questionnaire-based interviews. The sample population consisted of volunteer fishers who were
individually or collectively engaged in either licensed or unlicensed fishing activities across the Iranian part of the Caspian Sea. Responses were
numerical, and in the form of a multipoint Likert -type scale. Questionnaires were completed at fishing sites whilst fishers were undertaking
fishing during winter and spring 2016, and after the removal of incomplete questionnaires, data from 350 fishers were used in the analysis. The
results showed that parameters such as the lack of maritime security, lack of fines proportionate with the type of illegal activity, reducing job
security and increasing poverty and unemployment, the lack of adherence to ethics and the lack of awareness of the fishermen about the status
of sturgeon stocks are associated with the increasing rate of illegal fishing.
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