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Table 1 Independent variables used in the study

From: Factors influencing the choice of a safe haven for offloading illegally caught fish: a comparative analysis of developed and developing economies

Choice structuring properties Variables Data sources Explanation of variables and data sources
Concealability Number of vessels in port (University of Aegean (Greece), Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering) The source provides real-time data on the number of vessels docked at each country’s port. This research used data from November 10, 2014a
% of a country’s ports within the top 125 ports in the world in total cargo volume (a) National Geospatial Intelligence Agency World Port Index (2009)
(b) American Association of Port Authorities World Port Rankings Report (AAPA 2009)
(a) This source was used to obtain information about the total number of ports in each country
(b) This source was used to get information about the top 125 ports by total cargo volume
The calculated percentage was recoded into an ordinal measure (‘0’ = no ports; ‘1’ = 15 % or less of ports; ‘2’ = more than 15 % of ports). A total of 43, 21, and 8 countries fit into these groups, respectively
Value of fish imports United Nations FAOSTAT database (UN FAO 2009)b Data on imports and exports of fish in billion USD were gathered for 2009
Value of fish exports
Convenience Number of marine species within the country’s waters that are highly commercial internationally (University of British Columbia and PEW Charitable Trusts) Data on highly commercial species were available as of 2009
Quality of port infrastructure World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (WEF 2009) The WEF (2009) report measures countries on their competitiveness on ‘infrastructure’, among other constructs. The measure ‘quality of port infrastructure’ is one of the subcategories of ‘infrastructure’. Scores for ports range from ‘1’ = extremely underdeveloped; to ‘7’ = well developed and efficient by international standards. These scores were determined by the availability and accessibility of seaport facilities
Fisheries MCS Illegal fishing score University of British Columbia (UBC) (Pitcher et al. 2006)c Each country was scored on whether vessels were fishing illegally in its fisheries, with ‘0’ = no; ‘2.5’ = occasionally; ‘5’ = often’ ‘7.5’ = a great deal; and ‘10’ = almost as much, or more than legal vessels. If no information was available, a score of ‘10’ was given to the country.
Catch inspection schemes score
Observer schemes score
Vessel monitoring schemes score For each of these fisheries management indicators, countries were scored from 0 to 10, with ‘0’ = no such program is in place and ‘10’ = the program is in place and is almost entirely effective (Pitcher et al. 2006, p. 11)
Scores on control of access to stop illegal fishing
Governance Political stability and absence of violence/terrorism World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (World Bank 2009) These indicators are complex indices built by the World Bank using “several hundred variables obtained from 31 different sources” (e.g. public opinion surveys, non-profit organization reports, academic research data, and findings from international non-governmental organizations) (Kaufman, et al. 2010, p. 2)
Government effectiveness
Control of corruption
Wildlife protection regulation Number of environmental protection and conservation treaties and conventions a country belongs to (University of British Columbia and PEW Charitable Trusts) These include treaties and conventions related to fisheries, environment, sustainability and other conservation-related issues that a country was a signatory of as of 2009
Percentage of territorial waters that are marine protected areas (a) The UN Millennium Development Goals Indicators database d
(b) (University of British Columbia and PEW Charitable Trusts)
This variable was calculated by dividing the country’s ‘marine protected areas in square kilometers’ (as of 2010e) by the country’s area of marine territorial waters. The former was extracted from data source (a), the later from data source (b)
Environmental sustainability coefficient World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (WEF 2013) The WEF report (WEF 2013)f scores countries from ‘1’ for least sustainable to ‘7’ for most sustainable
  1. aThis date was selected randomly. It was not necessary to collect data on multiple dates because, according to Petrossian et al. (2015), the correlation between the average number of daily arrivals in port at a given month and daily real-time number of vessels on a randomly selected date in a month are positively correlated, with a correlation coefficient value of r = 0.92 and at the p < 0.01 significance level
  2. bFor certain countries, the data were only available for 2007
  3. cResearchers from the UBC ranked 54 important fishing nations, responsible for more than 95 % of the World’s fish catch on their compliance, with the 1995 UN FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Countries were scored on their compliance efforts after UBC researchers examined 2475 reference materials that included international treaties, country synopses from the FAO, national legislation on fisheries, national fisheries agency reports, and published and “grey” literature. Additionally, researchers consulted with fisheries experts for advice on these scores for the majority of the countries (Pitcher et al. 2006)
  4. dIn September 2000, leaders from more than 180 countries met at the UN and ratified the UN Millennium Declaration (2000) that focused on eight Millennium Development Goals. One of these goals was “ensuring environmental sustainability” by closely tracking progress on several environmental indicators over the next 15 years. One of the indicators was “reducing biodiversity loss” to be achieved by increasing the percent of terrestrial and marine protected areas
  5. eThese data are only available for 2000, 2010, and 2012
  6. fThe World Economic Forum added the “environmental sustainability” pillar for the first time in its 2013 report. This measure incorporates several sustainability indicators, such as stringency and enforcement of environmental regulations, fish stocks’ overexploitation, number of ratified international environmental treaties, and change in forest cover and forest loss