A Glimpse into the Use of Dogs to Address Global Poaching, Overharvesting, and Trafficking of Aquatic Species

  • Birgit BraunEmail author
  • John Stuart


Unsustainable harvest and illegal trade of wild flora and fauna threatens many aquatic species and ecosystems. Detector dogs can be used to quickly and discreetly screen checked or handheld luggage, freight, or passengers. Here, the steps leading to the implementation of relevant detection dog capacity at the Frankfurt Airport in Germany is briefly detailed, with observations about current enforcement, inspections, and information-sharing networks in relation to known smuggling and trade routes, and to priority targets. Three case studies are also presented: from Canada, the United States, and India, to convey the extent to which dogs are being used to protect aquatic species and resources in relation to other ongoing efforts and targets. Constraints or limitations to their use for aquatic applications are also considered.


Dog Detection Canine Handler Airport Inspection Smuggling Enforcement Poaching Contraband Aquatic Lobster Abalone Clam Shark fin Totoaba Vaquita Seahorse Sea cucumber Caviar Eel Turtle Turtle eggs Turtle shells Swim bladder Coral 



Birgit Braun extends special thanks to her husband Matthias-Alexander Braun, for his ongoing support and understanding regarding her work. Earlier versions of this chapter were much improved by input from Dr. Richard Thomas, Global Communications Coordinator at TRAFFIC (Cambridge, UK Office). Thanks are also extended to Lieutenant José Antonio Alfaro, formerly with the Environmental Police Branch of SEPRONA/Guardia Civil in Andalucía, Spain, now embedded with EUROPOL in The Hague (Netherlands) for his feedback.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aktionsgemeinschaft Artenschutz (AGA)Korntal-MünchingenGermany
  2. 2.(Formerly) Department of Fisheries and OceansQuispamsisCanada

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