ArticlePDF Available

Profile and Influence of the Successful Fisher-Inventor of Marine Conservation Technology

Abstract

Anecdotally it is often said that fishers are the best inventors of marine conservation technologies. In this paper I describe case studies of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and dolphin conservation technology, offering empirical evidence that fishers are successful inventors of marine conservation technology. I describe the Local Inventor Effect, in which adoption of a technology is disproportionately high in the geographic area near the inventor’s home. In one case, the adoption of a local invention was 600% higher than that of the next most popular device. Further, I present the Successful Inventor Profile for inventors of marine conservation technologies. This profile consists of three characteristics (1) a successful conservation technology inventor will have extensive experience relevant to the problem and potential solutions, (2) he or she will have extensive experience in fabrication, and (3) he or she will have the ability and tendency to employ mental and/or physical models, to assemble and refine inventions.
Conservation and Society 8(1): 44-54, 2010
Article
Pro le and In uence of the
Successful Fisher–Inventor of Marine Conservation Technology
Lekelia D. Jenkins
School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
E-mail: kikij@uw.edu
INTRODUCTION
‘If any lesson was learned during the TED [Turtle Excluder
Device] saga, it should have been that devices put in trawls
must be simple and best designed by shermen. The door to
acceptance of TEDs by industry was opened when simple,
shrimper designed devices were certi ed. All TEDs in use
today are based on the original jellyball excluders, not one
designed by non- shermen.’ – Dave Harrington, Georgia Sea
Grant
As exempli ed by this quote, in marine conservation and
sheries communities it is often said that shers are the best
inventors of marine conservation technologies (i.e., devices
that protect organisms or habitat) (Hall et al. 2007). However,
there have been no studies of the inventive power of shers
in general, or of the characteristics that help de ne what
makes one sher-inventor more successful than another. As
sea turtle and other marine species populations continue to
decline, in part due to bycatch (i.e., the incidental capture
and/or harming of non-target species while shing), and as
calls for collaborative research and management increase, it
is important to develop tools for identifying problem-solving
Copyright: © Lekelia D. Jenkins 2010. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use and distribution of the article, provided the original work is cited.
partners who are most likely to succeed.
One of the most well-known examples of marine conservation
technologies is the TED, which consists of a hard grid or
mesh panel that is placed in a trawl net to direct sea turtles
and other large objects out of an escape hole in the net. The
federal government solicited the help of shrimp trawlers and
others in the invention effort for TEDs. The initial recruitment
techniques were broadcast methods, which allowed contact
with the most—but not the best quali ed—constituents. For
example, government scientists requested the aid of personal
contacts or made broadcast solicitations in public fora, such
as shrimping industry association meetings and newspapers.
As a result of these methods, many of the initial industry
participants were industry leaders who were interested in the
political and management aspects of the shrimp shery and in
some cases had not been active commercial shers in years.
These individuals could publicise the turtle bycatch problem
to other shrimpers, but they did not have the expertise needed
to solve the problem.
A pro le of successful sher–inventors would serve as a
search tool to aid targeted recruitment of individuals with skills
most pertinent to solving bycatch problems. In so doing, the
Abstract
Anecdotally it is often said that shers are the best inventors of marine conservation technologies. In this paper I
describe case studies of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and dolphin conservation technology, offering empirical
evidence that shers are successful inventors of marine conservation technology. I describe the Local Inventor Effect,
in which adoption of a technology is disproportionately high in the geographic area near the inventor’s home. In
one case, the adoption of a local invention was 600% higher than that of the next most popular device. Further, I
present the Successful Inventor Pro le for inventors of marine conservation technologies. This pro le consists of
three characteristics (1) a successful conservation technology inventor will have extensive experience relevant to
the problem and potential solutions, (2) he or she will have extensive experience in fabrication, and (3) he or she
will have the ability and tendency to employ mental and/or physical models, to assemble and re ne inventions.
Keywords: Turtle Excluder Device, sea turtle, tuna-dolphin, bycatch, inventor, invention, mental model,
technology transfer, diffusion of innovations
DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.62677
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
invention process would become more effective and ef cient,
possibly decreasing the time between problem identi cation
and commercially practical solutions. In the case of sea turtle
species—with some populations facing extinction in the near
future—time is of the essence (Spotila et al. 2000).
In this paper, I examine the case study of TEDs and
give evidence of the success of shrimpers as inventors and
government scientists as modi ers of TEDs. I also discuss the
positive in uence shrimper–inventors have on local adoption
of their TEDs. I support the ndings in the TED case study by
presenting a secondary case study of the invention of dolphin
conservation technologies to reduce dolphin bycatch in the
United States tuna purse seine shery. Further, I will suggest
that the key characteristics of successful sher–inventors
include their extensive experience with shing and fabrication,
and their ability to engage in mental modelling.
A mental model is a mental representation of a physical
reality. These models can be used to run empirical mental
simulations for the purposes of reasoning and problem-solving.
For example, if one was trying to move a large piece of
furniture through a doorway, one could mentally reconstruct
the dimensions of the doorway (i.e., the parameters of the
problem) and simulate different way of tting the furniture
through the door (Nersessian 2007). Mental modelling is a
strategy used in successful technological inventions, such as
Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone and the
Wright brothers’ invention of the airplane (Gorman & Carlson
1990; Johnson-Laird 2005). In these case studies, the process
of mental modelling allowed the examination of a mechanical
representation and its variations, modi cations, and aws. I
will give evidence that three of the most successful sher–
inventors in the TED and tuna–dolphin case studies used
mental modelling as well.
METHODS
This research focussed on the history of the TED in the
years between 1976 (when US government research began
to reduce sea turtle bycatch) and 1998 (the last year of TED
development before major changes in TED regulations). The
research also examined the history in the years 1964–1981 in
the tuna–dolphin case study (dolphin bycatch was rst brought
to the government’s attention in 1964, while 1981 was the
last year that a dolphin conservation technology development
programme existed within the United States government). Most
of the major developments in dolphin conservation technology
for the tuna industry occurred before 1981.
I gathered data for this study by examining inventions,
conducting interviews, and analysing documents. I conducted
49 on-site semi-structured and unstructured personal
interviews with key informants. I conducted interviews in
all nine commercial shrimping states in south-eastern United
States as well as California, the base of the tuna purse seine
shing eet, and Washington, a centre for development of
dolphin conservation technologies. These interviews mostly
occurred during ve, two-week long trips during June 2003
to January 2004.
The sample population consisted of representatives from
stakeholder groups, including federal and state policy-
makers and managers, scientists, inventors, change agents,
as well as shing industry and environmental organisation
representatives. I initially established a sample frame using
a purposive sample of prominent individuals frequently
mentioned in the literature pertaining to the study (Coe et al.
1984; Durrenberger 1996; Joseph 1994; Joseph & Greenough
1979; Maiolo 2004; Margavio & Forsyth 1996; Maril 1983,
1995; National Research Council 1990, 1992; Orbach 1977).
The purposive sample led to a snowball sample (Bernard
2002); informants were asked to name other individuals who
were knowledgeable about the case study and as many as
possible of these individuals were then interviewed as well.
I also collected hundreds of documents, including
government reports, research records, workshop reports,
panel reports, memos, personal letters, educational videos
and pamphlets from the key informants’ archives.1 I analysed
the text of the interviews and documents using a grounded
theory approach, allowing theories to grow out of categories
and concepts that initially emerged from the analysis of the
texts of documents and interviews (Strauss & Corbin 1998).
In order to determine the characteristics of successful
inventors of marine conservation technologies, I composed
biographic pro les of inventors from each case study, using
a convenience sample as determined by the availability of
information. I examined the pro les for similarities in light
of the varying success of the inventions. Further, I contrasted
the inventive processes of these independent inventors with
those used by government scientists.
For the purposes of this study, I needed to delineate between
successful and unsuccessful technologies. The de nition of
success differed for each case study due to the difference
in circumstances and goals of each invention programme.
For the tuna–dolphin case study, I de ned success as those
technologies deemed worthy of implementing, in that the
industry adopted them independently or that National Marine
Fisheries Service (NMFS) recommended or mandated their
use. I de ned a successful TED as one that was government
certi ed, that remained certi ed until the year 2002, and that
commercial shrimpers widely adopted.2 In order to assess
adoption of individual TEDs at a state and county level, I
analysed the distribution of TEDs by the Georgia and North
Carolina State Governments in two free TED giveaway
programmes. Because these state programmes gave shrimpers
the TEDs of their choice, they yield important insight into the
popularity of certain TEDs in North Carolina and Georgia in
the late 1980s. I also re-analysed TED preference data from a
survey conducted in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,
and Florida for the South Atlantic Fishery Management
Council (Kitner 1987).3
TED CASE STUDY
Sea turtle bycatch became a management issue for the
Pro le and in uence of successful sher-inventors / 45
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
shrimp shery after the listing of sea turtle species under the
Endangered Species Act.4 During the 1970s, the NMFS (the
agency responsible for managing marine sheries in the United
States) listed as threatened or endangered all six species of sea
turtles that occur in US waters. Shrimp and sea turtles share
the same habitat—coastal waters along the south-eastern
United States. Shrimpers tow large nets known as trawls for
about three hours at a time. Sea turtles encountering these
nets often attempt to escape but some are captured. Unable
to surface to breathe, many turtles drown during these long
tow times (National Research Council 1990). The NMFS has
responsibility for managing marine sheries and protecting
sea turtles, and hence, to ful l this responsibility, in 1976, it
began research to invent a device to reduce sea turtle bycatch.
In 1980, the Georgia Sea Grant, a government agency
charged with marine extension, sent the NMFS photos of a
‘jellyball shooter’ and suggested a similar approach could
work for excluding turtles. The jellyball shooter had been used
for decades, especially by shrimpers in South Carolina and
Georgia, when cannonball jelly sh, Stomolophus meleagris,
were so dense that shrimping could not otherwise occur. The
jellyball shooter consists of a grid that is placed in the neck
of the trawl to block large objects from entering the net bag
and directs them out of a hole cut in the net. The rst jellyball
shooters were likely just grates from a charcoal grill. Based
on these photographs, independently and simultaneously, Dr
John Watson, head of the NMFS TED programme, and Eddie
Toomer, a contract vessel captain from Winter Haven, Florida,
conceived of placing the grid within a frame. Dr. Watson
constructed his version from fragile plastic and Capt. Toomer
constructed his from heavy steel. Though Toomer’s original
model was too heavy and Watson’s too fragile to be practical,
NMFS drew ideas from both to apply to a new design. NMFS
called the resulting prototype the TED (Figure 1).
In 1986, Georgia Sea Grant realised that shrimpers might
soon be required to use TEDs, and so reasoned that it would
be best if they were given a choice among different TEDs.
That year they sponsored a demonstration event comparing
four different TEDs (1) a collapsible NMFS TED, (2) Georgia
Jumper TED, (3) Cameron TED, and (4) the Matagorda TED.
The three new TEDs were modi ed jellyball shooters invented
by shrimpers from Darien, Georgia; Cameron, Louisiana; and
Matagorda, Texas, respectively.
Based on the results of the turtle exclusion testing, NMFS
announced the certi cation of all three new TEDs in the
Federal Register in 1987. Later that year Georgia Sea Grant
tested the Morrison Soft TED for certi cation. A soft TED
uses a panel of mesh webbing instead of a hard grid to direct
the turtle to the escape hole. The Morrison Soft TED created
by Sonny Morrison of South Carolina excluded 100% of the
turtles during testing, so NMFS certi ed it (52 FR 37152). In
subsequent years NMFS continued to modify the NMFS TED
and industry continued to develop new hard and soft TED
prototypes. Over the course of this case study a total of 135
styles of TED were certi ed for use in the shrimp shery, but
the level of adoption of these devices varied greatly.
Success of TEDs
The only large-scale observations of TED preferences during the
time frame of this case study were the TED preference survey
commissioned by the South Atlantic Fishery Management
Council and the TED giveaway programmes in Georgia and
North Carolina (Kitner 1987). At the time of these activities in
the late 1980s, the only certi ed TEDs were the NMFS TED,
Georgia Jumper, Cameron TED, Matagorda TED, Morrison
Soft TED, and Parrish Soft TED. The Georgia TED giveaway
programme distributed hundreds of Georgia Jumpers, a few
NMFS and Morrison Soft TEDs, and one Matagorda TED.
The North Carolina TED giveaway programme, which took
place in 1988, gave away a total of 584 TEDs—65% of these
were Georgia Jumpers, 28% were Parrish Soft TEDs, and
7% were Morrison Soft TEDs (Unpublished data). In both of
these programmes, shrimpers requested the Georgia Jumper
(Figure 2; invented by Sinkey Boone, a Georgia Shrimper)
more frequently than any other TED.
Figure 1
National Marine Fisheries Service Turtle Excluder Device
Figure 2
Georgia Jumper Turtle Excluder Device
46 / Lekelia D. Jenkins
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
The popularity of the Georgia Jumper is consistent with
opinions expressed in interviews, the TED preference survey,
and in the TED giveaway programmes, but the popularity of
the Parrish Soft TED in the North Carolina TED giveaway
programme is surprising. The Parrish Soft TED had notoriously
high shrimp loss rates; during documented tests, shrimp loss
was as high as 54% and never lower than 14% (Berry 1987;
Holland 1989; North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries
1987; Pearce et al. 1989; Street 1990). In addition to high
shrimp loss rates, opinions of the device were poor. In 1992,
Dave Harrington, an in uential Georgia Sea Grant agent,
proposed that the Parrish Soft TED be decerti ed because
‘No one is pulling them and most likely will not ’ One would
expect that the poor performance and opinions of the Parrish
Soft TED would result in poor adoption rates. However, one
might also hypothesise that the presence of a local inventor
effect could drive adoption rates higher than expected. As
corroborative evidence of this latter hypothesis, in 1988 Jim
Bahen of North Carolina Sea Grant wrote, ‘To date over 400
Parrish TEDs have been constructed and purchased by the
shrimping industry.’
These contrasting statements by Harrington and Bahen can
be reconciled by examining the location of Parrish Soft TED
adopters. In the North Carolina TED giveaway programme,
84% of the 162 Parrish Soft TEDs were purchased by shrimpers
in New Hanover County and neighbouring Brunswick County,
which is the resident county of Steve Parrish, the inventor
of the Parrish Soft TED. In Brunswick County, adoption of
the Parrish Soft TED exceeded the adoption of the next most
popular TED type by 45%. In New Hanover County, adoption
of the Parrish Soft TED exceeded the adoption of the next most
popular TED type by 140% (Unpublished data) . This shows
that the popularity of the Parrish Soft TED was concentrated
around the location of the inventor.
This concentration of TED popularity in correlation with
the location of the inventor also held true in the South Atlantic
Fishery Management Council survey. When this survey
was conducted in 1987, all the previously listed TEDs were
certi ed, except for the Parrish Soft TED. Overall, the survey
found that the most popular TED was the Georgia Jumper
(Kitner 1987). However reanalysis at the state-level reveals
a connection between TED popularity and the location of the
TED’s invention. In South Carolina, of respondents with TED
experience, 56% of them used the Morrison Soft TED that was
invented by Sonny Morrison, a South Carolina shrimper. This
exceeded the use of the next most popular TED by 200%. In
Georgia, of respondents with TED experience, 78% of them
used the Georgia Jumper. This exceeds the use of the next most
popular TED by 600%. This high level of adoption supports
the hypothesis that there is a Local Inventor Effect that can
stimulate adoption of a device in the area surrounding the
inventor’s residence.
Shrimper–inventors were not just in uential in promoting
adoption of their TEDs, they also were the most successful at
inventing TEDs. Table 1 features the thirteen TEDs certi ed
for use during the timeframe of the case study and indicates
the importance of shrimpers in inventing successful TEDs.
The relative success (de ned as being government certi ed
and widely adopted by shrimpers) of TEDs decreased towards
of bottom of the chart.
The TEDs in Group 4 were the least successful TEDs.
Invented by NMFS and various gear manufacturers, most of
Pro le and in uence of successful sher-inventors / 47
Table 1
Comparative success of all certi ed Turtle Excluder Devices with level of industry adoption indicated by presence and size of star
Certi ed TED Inventor Success
Industry adopted
Still certi ed as of 2002
Group 1
Georgia Jumper Shrimper
Supershooter Manufacturer & NMFS
Anthony Weedless Inventor
Parker Soft Sea Grant
Group 2
Matagorda Shrimper
Cameron Shrimper
Group 3
Morrison Soft Shrimper
Andrews Soft Manufacturer
Group 4
Jones Manufacturer
NMFS NMFS
Taylor Soft NMFS
Parrish Soft Manufacturer
Mississippi Hybrid Manufacturer
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
these TEDs were never widely used. Several hundred shrimpers
did adopt the NMFS TEDs, but did so when this was the
only TED available and received it for free (Watson 1985).
In general, the shrimping industry did not accept the NMFS
TED. According to Dave Harrington, a Sea Grant agent, ‘The
National Marine Fisheries Service… has developed a TED, but
many shermen [prefer] other devices.’ The TEDs in Group
4 were eventually decerti ed, because of design aws that
caused the capture of sea turtles or—in the case of the Jones
TED—because few shrimpers used it.
The TEDs in Group 3 are both devices that shrimpers
accepted but that NMFS decerti ed. The Andrews Soft TED
has a small star for adoption, because few shrimpers used the
certi ed version of this TED, but many shrimpers illegally used
versions of this TED with larger mesh sizes. Evidence of the
popularity of the Morrison Soft TED was pervasive throughout
the historical documents and interviews. In the late 1980s, a
Georgia Sea Grant report stated that the Morrison Soft TED
was one of two TEDs that ‘had emerged as the most popular
within the Atlantic Coast commercial shrimp eet.’ The TED
preference survey conducted during that same time found that
the Morrison Soft TED was the second most popular TED
and 37% of respondents had used it (Kitner 1987). Further,
Harrington wrote, ‘As TED regulations were implemented into
the Southeastern sheries, this device became a commonly
used turtle separator and is perhaps the most popular of the
six certi ed excluders.’ In 1996, NMFS decerti ed all soft
TEDs, citing that soft TEDs had inherent design aws that
caused the entanglement of turtles (61 FR 66933). This was a
controversial decision over which TED experts were divided.
According to one net shop owner, ‘In the 1980s, the Morrison
TED was the most popular; the decerti cation of the soft TED
forced the shrimpers to start using hard TEDs.’
In some areas the industry accepted the shrimper-invented
TEDs in Group 2, but their popularity failed to spread
throughout the shery. The Louisiana Sea Grant estimated that
by 1985, 300 shrimpers where using some type of excluder
or cannonball shooter to exclude jelly sh in Cameron County
(Weber 1995). The gross majority of these devices were
Cameron TEDs, which were invented in Cameron County.
Gary Graham, a Texas Sea Grant agent, reported that, in 1992,
a single net shop in Texas sold over 200 Matagorda TEDs .
I found that the four most successful TEDs were Group 1
(1) the Georgia Jumper, (2) Super Shooter TED, (3) Anthony
Weedless TED, and (4) the Parker Soft TED. Although only
the Georgia Jumper is credited as being invented by a shrimper,
shrimpers played crucial roles in the invention of all four TEDs.
The Parker Soft TED is actually the original version of the
Morrison Soft TED that was invented by Sonny Morrison, a
shrimper. Earnest Anthony was not a shrimper, but his Anthony
Weedless TED consists of an insightful modi cation to a
Georgia Jumper-style TED, which was invented by Sinkey
Boone, a shrimper. Finally, the Supershooter TED was invented
by Noah Saunders, a shing-gear manufacturer in collaboration
with NMFS. Notably, Saunders’ primary collaborator at
NMFS was Dale Stevens, a highly respected and experienced
former shrimper. Arguably, without the expertise of shrimpers
contributing to their invention, none of these devices would
have been as successful.
The Georgia Jumper was popular on the East Coast and
Gulf Coast even over time. The Georgia Jumper was the most
purchased TED in both the North Carolina and Georgia TED
giveaway programmes as well as the TED used by the most
shrimpers (63%) in the TED preference survey6 (Kitner 1987).
Dave Harrington wrote that the Georgia Jumper ‘has met with
a high degree of acceptance along this [Atlantic] coast.’ In
1996, a NMFS report states that the agency used the Georgia
Jumper for special TED tests ‘due to the preference on non-
funnel straight-bar grids [description of the Georgia Jumper]
by shermen in the South Atlantic (Mitchell et al. 1996).’
During interviews in 2003, a Louisiana Sea Grant agent said
most shrimpers in Louisiana use the Georgia Jumper.
The Super Shooter TED and Anthony Weedless TEDs were
not commercially available until around 1990, so they are
not represented in the Kitner survey or state TED giveaway
programmes, but many TED experts cited them as popular
TEDs. In 1992, both the Super Shooter TED and Anthony
Weedless TED were used in government TED research
because of their ‘increasing preference among US commercial
shrimp shermen’ (Mitchell & Shah 1992). In the course of
my research interviews, several people, including an industry
leader and former NMFS policy-maker, named the Super
Shooter as the most popular TED and an extension agent
declared that the Anthony Weedless TED is popular along
the Gulf Coast.
The Parker Soft Ted is a special case of popularity. Chuck
Oravetz, a former NMFS policy-maker wrote, ‘industry use of
the Parker TED is extremely low’. This statement is true, but
the commitment of some soft TED adopters to soft TEDs and
the circumstances that led to this low adoption, warrant special
consideration of the Parker Soft TED. This TED is the original
version of the Morrison Soft TED. According to the owner of
a popular net shop in Florida, in the 1980s, the Morrison TED
was the most popular TED at the time. The decerti cation of the
soft TED forced the soft TED users to start using hard TEDs. In
1997, Lindsey Parker, a Georgia Sea Grant agent, reintroduced
this soft TED, because some members of the industry still
wanted to use a soft TED, especially along the Atlantic coast
for catching white shrimp during the winter. The Parker Soft
TED warrants being labelled a successful TED, because it is
used in a number of states and has been widely adopted by
the target group—soft TED users—for which it was intended.
Biographical pro les of TED inventors
Although only 15 TEDs were ever certi ed for use, there were
at least 43 named varieties of TED prototypes or modi cations
with nearly as many inventors. In order to determine what
characteristics defined successful inventors, I composed
biographical profiles of TED inventors Sonny Morrison,
Sinkey Boone, Earnest Anthony, Noah Saunders, John Lettich,
and Nelson Paul. These pro les, which are summarised below,
48 / Lekelia D. Jenkins
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
reveal that successful inventors engaged in mental modelling,
while unsuccessful inventors apparently did not.
Sonny Morrison, the inventor of the Morrison Soft TED,
grew up in a shrimping community in South Carolina. He
began shing as a child and often helped out with this father’s
marine construction business. He learned basic net repairing
out of necessity—he had only one cotton net as a boy and with
little chance of replacement, it had to be maintained. Morrison
continued in this self-ef cient fashion, making and repairing
his own nets, and building and repairing his own 67’ steel haul
boat (Morrison 2007).
Sinkey Boone, the inventor of the Georgia Jumper TED,
grew up in a shrimping community in Georgia and had a
career as a shrimper. Boone also worked as a machinist, enjoys
working with his hands, and prides himself on his mechanical
skills.
Ernest Anthony, the inventor of the Anthony Weedless TED,
had no previous connection to any type of shing industry.
Anthony was a machinist by trade and lived in Louisiana. In
retirement, he learned of the problems some shrimpers were
having with TEDs getting clogged with debris and hence
modified a Georgia Jumper-style TED that successfully
reducing clogging.
Noah Saunders is a machinist who runs a family business
that traditionally built and repaired parts for shing boats in
Mississippi. Although he grew up familiar with aspects of
the shing industry, he does not have any commercial shing
experience. With some advice from his customers, Saunders
invented the Mississippi Hybrid TED and a version of the
Georgia Jumper called the Saunders TED. He helped create
the Super Shooter TED in conjunction with NMFS personnel,
especially Dale Stevens, a former shrimper highly respected
throughout the shrimping industry.
John Lettich created a greatly modi ed Lettich Soft TED
that differs so much from the original Lettich Soft TED that
it can be considered a new device. Lettich grew up shrimping
and now participates in a family net-making business in South
Carolina.
Nelson Paul, a self-described net-making hobbyist, is the
inventor of the Paul Soft TED. He was never a commercial
sherman, but he grew up in a shrimping community, and
helped with his family’s shrimping and fish processing
businesses in North Carolina. Paul took a series of net-making
classes and later continued to study and re ne his skills as a
net-maker. He designed and built a variety of different net
types for various sheries.
Many of these men share two characteristics—a shrimping
background and a mechanical inclination. The importance
of these characteristics is highlighted by Table 1. Shrimpers
invented more highly successful TEDs than any other group,
but all of the inventors listed in the Table 1 had expertise
fabricating devices and instruments. Being able to produce
a physical prototype was a critical step, because a physical
device was arguably more likely to gain attention and support
than schematics alone. Those inventors who did not have
shrimping experience, compensated by directly seeking the
advice of shrimpers or basing their invention on a shrimper-
invented TED.
These characteristics of a shrimping background and
mechanical inclination are prominent among successful TED
inventors. But these same characteristics can be found among
unsuccessful TED inventors as well. Further examination of
the biographical pro les reveals a third de ning characteristic
that helps delineate between successful and unsuccessful TED
inventors, the ability to engage in mental modelling.
The inventors whose TEDs were most successful are
Boone, Morrison, Saunders and NMFS with the Super
Shooter TED, and Anthony (Table 1). I could not interview
or even locate Anthony, the inventor of the Anthony
Weedless TED, who may be deceased. What I know of him
is based on his writings and the memories of those who met
him. Unfortunately, neither of these sources describes the
methods he used to invent his TED. Of the remaining three
inventors, two strongly exhibited the same characteristic, the
ability to engage in mental modelling. Boone and Morrison
both spoke extensively of how they evaluated and re ned
their TED designs. Despite poor visibility in the murky
waters where they tested their devices, both men con dently
described the action of deployed gear and the effect that a
gear modi cation would have on gear performance. They
explained how they could imagine the gear in the water
and how this process of imagining allowed them to identify
potential problems with their design, which they could then
correct without ever having built a physical prototype of
that design.
In contrast, Saunders did not readily display this
characteristic. In order to evaluate the TED design and make
changes, he said he would build and show the prototype TED
to shrimpers he knew for their insight. Further he had almost
daily conversations with NMFS scientists and gear specialists
about the designs and prototypes. Interviews and research
reports showed no evidence that NMFS personnel employed
mental modelling as an invention strategy; rather, NMFS
personnel tended to build physical prototypes of modi cations.
In addition, the divers and underwater cameras available to
NMFS were far more accurate than mental modelling for
visualising deployed gear. This method of invention made
NMFS a successful modi er of TEDs, because it is better suited
for the level of detailed re nement needed for ne-tuning at
the end of the development process.
Based on these findings, the profile of a successful
marine conservation technology inventor includes at least
three characteristics (1) They have extensive experience in
commercial shing, (2) They have extensive experience in
fabrication, and (3) They have a means to visualise the action
of deployed gear, either by mental modelling or using divers
and cameras. Individuals such as Ernest Anthony and Noah
Saunders, who did not have commercial shing experience,
drew on the knowledge of expert shers by conferring with
them directly or modifying their designs. In addition to the
role of inventor, another key role was that of modi er. In
general, shers invented the most successful TEDs, but
Pro le and in uence of successful sher-inventors / 49
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
NMFS played a key role in re ning and further developing
the TEDs.
TUNA–DOLPHIN CASE STUDY
If the successful inventor pro le is to be of practical value for
identifying collaborative partners, it is essential to determine
if the pro le would hold true in other cases. The tuna–dolphin
case study offers positive evidence that the profile does
delineate successful inventors from other shers and inventors.
Tuna shing in the United States was largely based in San
Diego. The early 1960s saw the introduction of a new shing
technique, pole and lines being replaced by nets called purse
seines. The hundred or so boats shing the Eastern Tropical
Paci c quickly became the second most pro table shery in
the country. The purse seining process involved encircling
tuna that are either swimming as a free school, as a school
associated with oating debris, or as a school associated
with dolphins (McNeely 1961; Orbach 1977). ‘Fishing on
dolphins’ soon became the most popular method of tuna
shing, because it yields large yellow n tuna, which were the
size and species preferred by tuna processors, and because
dolphins, which are frequently on the surface, were a good
visual indicator of tuna. Unfortunately, this tuna shing
method can result in signi cant dolphin mortality. Even
though dolphins are capable of jumping several feet above
the water surface, when enclosed in a net they failed to do
so and instead became passive. Thus, the dolphins tended to
huddle together at the surface or lay submerged against the
bottom of the net. Frequently, the dolphins would come in
contact with the net and become entangled in it. Unable to
surface to breathe, they drowned.
In 1964, a tuna sher alerted California wildlife managers
about the numbers of dolphins being accidentally killed
in purse seines.7 Subsequent estimates suggested that tuna
shers killed several hundred thousand dolphins each year
(National Research Council 1992). In 1969, the U.S. Bureau
of Commercial Fisheries—which soon became part of the
newly established National Marine Fisheries Service—began
a research project to investigate the problem.
Concurrently, in 1963, the feature lm ‘Flipper’ and the
subsequent television show, which aired from 1964–1967,
sparked a nation-wide craze in the United States for dolphins
and other marine mammals. The public came to view marine
mammals—more so than many other animals—as uniquely
intelligent, caring, and lovable. In the late 1960s, the rst
reports of the high dolphin mortality by the tuna shery began
to surface in the media. By 1971, articles in Newsweek and Life
magazines rmly placed the tuna–dolphin issue on the national
platform (Anon. 1971). The public, with its newfound love for
marine mammals, was outraged. People from all walks of life,
from scientists and environmentalists to housewives and school
children, bombarded their Congressmen with letters decrying
the slaughter of dolphins and demanding protective action.
In 1972, Congress drafted and passed the Marine Mammal
Protection Act. The Act protects all marine mammals and
mandates that their populations be as large as the ecosystem
can adequately support.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act drove both government
and industry to solve the dolphin bycatch problem. With the
passage of the Act, the tuna shing industry felt compelled
to solve the bycatch problem, because it feared the complete
closure of the tuna shery if dolphin mortality was not reduced.
In addition, NMFS was required by law to reduce dolphin
bycatch, in part through invention of dolphin conservation
technologies.
Two of these technologies were the backdown method and
the Medina panel. The backdown method is a dolphin rescue
procedure, which involves reversing the boat so that part of the
netting becomes submerged allowing the dolphins to escape to
safety. The Medina panel is an area of smaller mesh-size netting
which prevents dolphins becoming entangled as they escape
the net. These two technologies are credited with making the
most signi cant contribution to reducing dolphin bycatch in
the tuna shery. I examine their development and other dolphin
conservation technologies herein.
The pattern of fishers inventing the most successful
conservation technologies—while NMFS re ned and further
developed these technologies—is a pattern that is also
evident in the tuna–dolphin case study. Of the over twenty
conservation technologies explored in the tuna–dolphin case,
Table 2 features the eight most successful (in that the industry
adopted them independently or that NMFS recommended
or mandated their use). The majority of the successful
technologies originated from within the industry, but NMFS
played an essential role as modi er of these technologies. This
is supported by a comment by August Felando, president of
the American Tunaboat Association, the primary tuna industry
group. Felando said, ‘the process was really about enhancing
what people were already doing’, i.e., the backdown method
and the Medina panel. For example, with the backdown
method, NMFS gear specialists developed an empirical net
tie-down formula to increase the accuracy of the backdown
channel alignment (National Marine Fisheries Service 1981).
NMFS modi ed the porpoise grabber8 so that it would not
injure dolphins and could be used on all sizes of dolphins (Fox
1975a). NMFS also introduced the use of a face mask, snorkel,
and raft to make hand rescue more effective and ef cient (Fox
1975b). In addition, all the ne-mesh dolphin safety systems
Table 2
The eight most successful technologies for
dolphin conservation among tuna shers
Invention Origin NMFS Modi ed
Backdown Method Industry
Medina Panel Industry
Dolphin Grabber Industry
Speedboat Rescue Industry
Hand Rescue Industry
Snap-on Purse Rings Industry
Large-volume Net NMFS
Net Towing NMFS
50 / Lekelia D. Jenkins
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
NMFS invented were derived from the Medina panel. These
numerous examples strongly illustrate the critical role of the
NMFS as modi er of sher-inventions.
Data of adoption of dolphin conservation technologies was
extremely limited in the tuna–dolphin case. Adoption of the
Medina panel, however, is widely acknowledged by the key
informants to have been the most rapid and complete adoption
of any of the dolphin conservation technologies. In 1972,
a year after its invention, and before Congress passed the
Marine Mammal Protection Act, 40–50% of the industry had
voluntarily adopted the Medina panel. By 1973, 60–70% of
industry had adopted it (Unpublished data). Harold Medina,
the tuna sherman who invented the device, facilitated this
adoption by making available diagrams and instructions for
the panel’s installation and recommending it to other shers
(Barham et al. 1977). This strong example is in keeping
with the pattern of local inventors positively in uencing the
adoption of their inventions.
Biographical pro les of dolphin conservation technology
inventors
Harold Medina and Richard McNeely are both credited with
inventions that made a signi cant contribution to solving
the dolphin bycatch problem. Medina’s contribution of the
Medina Panel is widely recognised. McNeely’s contribution
is less well known, but was greatly lauded at the time. Among
McNeely’s accolades were Man of the Year award from the
American Cetacean Society, the United States Government
Gold Medal, the highest honour given to federal employees,
and various awards from environmental groups. McNeely
systematically identi ed the causes of dolphin bycatch and
invented or innovated solutions to many of these. These
inventions and innovations included anti-torque cable, large
volume net, porpoise apron, counter-balanced purse block,
and modi ed Medina Panel.9 Upon McNeely’s retirement in
1977, NMFS praised his work, writing, ‘The tuna industry, as
well as the environmental community, are greatly indebted
to McNeely for his perseverance and success in dealing with
an extremely complex dif cult, and challenging assignment’
(National Marine Fisheries Service 1977).
Harold Medina grew up in a tuna shing family. He served as
a merchant marine before becoming a commercial tuna sher
and, quickly, captain of his own boat. Gaining a reputation as
a highliner10, Medina was admired by his peers for his shing
skill and his innovations were often imitated. He claimed
to be the rst tuna sher to try sonar, the omega navigation
system, and satellite navigation. He also asserted that he was
responsible for increasing shers’ safety by moving the winch
from the deck of the boat to the boom. He recounted that when
he asked for this modi cation ‘the boatyard gave me a hard
time but now all boats are this way.’ He further declared, ‘I
can do anything with my hands….I can do anything on a boat.’
His talents include being a good carpenter, net man, engineer,
and navigator.
Medina also knew how to overhaul boat engines as well as
build and repair his own nets. Using his knowledge of nets
and observation of how most dolphins were entangled in the
net, Medina surmised that smaller-mesh in the backdown area
would prevent dolphins from entangling their rostrums and
ippers. He used mental modelling to visualise the design in
operation, and determined that two-inch mesh would provide
maximum protection for the dolphins without creating adverse
drag on the net.
In contrast, Richard McNeely was not a commercial sherman
but he was an expert machinist. The son of a carpenter, McNeely
attended a technical school in his home state of West Virginia
after receiving the highest score ever on a mechanical aptitude
entrance exam. He later worked as a machinist for General
Electric, where he soon earned a reputation as a problem solver.
As a recreational sher, McNeely had a life-long interest in
the water, so, he began to work for the Bureau of Commercial
Fisheries, where his rst assignment was to build a remote-
controlled underwater camera. He eventually rose to head the
gear research programme. In this position, McNeely was always
looking for opportunities to go out on a boat. He claimed to have
been on every type of shing boat on both coasts of the United
States and further claimed to be the only government scientist
to do so. This experience included sailing on over a dozen tuna
boats (McNeely 2002).
Thus, despite their differing backgrounds, both Medina
and McNeely t the Successful Inventor Pro le. Medina had
extensive mechanical and shing experience. In addition,
his own comments on the importance of imagination and his
recollections on how he invented the Medina Panel showed
that he used mental modelling. According to Medina, ‘because
you can’t see what happens to the gear under water, you have
to imagine it’.
McNeely also had an extensive mechanical background.
He compensated for not having a background in commercial
shing by frequently riding aboard commercial vessels and
observing commercial shing practices in order to bolster his
knowledge. His gregarious personality garnered the industry’s
trust and helped him mine their expertise. He had many novel
ideas for conservation technologies, which may indicate that
he had a good imagination. However, he did not seem to
readily engage in mental modelling; instead he used divers
and underwater cameras to observe the gear.
DISCUSSION
Local inventor effect
Both case studies indicate a link between the location of an
inventor and the adoption of his device. For the Parrish Soft
TED, there are several possible reasons for this concentration
of popularity (1) a local inventor effect, involving familiarity
with the inventor or his reputation, could in uence adopters’
decisions, (2) North Carolina Sea Grant found it easier to
promote a local TED and so concentrated more effort on this
TED than any other type, or, (3) a locally invented TED is best
suited to the shing condition of that area.
Pro le and in uence of successful sher-inventors / 51
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
The third option is unlikely because of the poor shrimp
retention of the Parrish Soft TED, although this option may
hold some truth for other TEDs. As for the second option
(easier promotion of a local TED), North Carolina Sea Grant
did expend much time and money helping to develop the
Parrish Soft TEDs. There was also special emphasis placed on
promoting the Parrish Soft TED . However, various Sea Grant
agents spread these extension efforts throughout the North
Carolina coast, which would not explain the concentration of
Parrish Soft TED adopters. Given all these considerations and
the acute concentration of Parrish Soft TED adopters, I believe
that familiarity with Steve Parrish and/or his reputation is the
main reason for the high number of Parrish Soft TED purchases
in Brunswick and New Hanover counties.
The rapid voluntary adoption of the Medina panel in
comparison to later conservation technologies is also indicative
of a local inventor effect. However, there are a number of
other factors worth considering: (1) The local inventor effect
could have been enhanced by Medina’s influence as an
opinion leader, because he was well-known in the shery as a
highliner; (2) The comparatively (to other dolphin conservation
technologies) rapid adoption of the Medina panel could be due
to the fact that in later years the tuna–dolphin problem became
more adversarial and so shers were less willing to voluntarily
adopt technologies invented after the Medina panel. Further,
the frequent changes in regulations and resulting nancial
and time investment to comply could have restricted shers’
willingness to voluntarily adopt new technologies; or (3)
Alternatively, according to one NMFS manager, as the types
of conservation technologies became more complex, captains
may have felt the effort of keeping informed about the gear
improvements was not worth the bene t, especially if the
captain already had low mortality rates. There is not enough
data to identify, which, if any, of these three explanations
helped drive the comparatively rapid adoption of the Medina
panel. However, Medina’s reputation as an innovative sher
arguably gured into the successful adoption.
Diffusion studies also offer some insight into Medina’s
role. According to diffusion theory, opinion leadership (i.e.,
the ability to in uence the views of one’s peers) is earned and
maintained by competence, accessibility, and conformity. When
the social system is oriented to change, opinion leaders are quite
innovative, but when the system’s norms are opposed to change,
opinion leaders are not very innovative (Rogers 1995). Because
the tuna industry had experienced a major gear conversion just
a decade earlier—when changing from pole and line gear to
purse seines—it was oriented to change. Medina’s highliner
status spoke of his competence. As an active sher in a rather
small shery, he was as accessible as any other sher. As a
member of an established family of tuna shers he was part of
the mainstream tuna shing community, and thus conformed to
the cultural norms. These qualities of competence, accessibility,
and conformity made Medina an innovative opinion leader in
an industry that valued innovation. This combination was likely
very in uential in the adoption of the Medina panel. Also, I
believe the political climate with the passage of the Marine
Mammal Protection Act motivated the industry to try to de ect
criticism. The adoption of the Medina panel helped them do so.
Finally, the simplicity of the gear was such that it did not change
the shing process and most shers could easily understand how
it worked. All of these factors likely contributed to the successful
adoption of the Medina Panel.
Successful inventor pro le
From my case studies, I found that shers invented the most
successful conservation technology. Arguably shers invented
more successful devices, because their shing experience
provided them with the knowledge to create practical devices
that were compatible with commercial shing. Also it was
to the sher’s bene t to invent practical devices that had
limited effect on how they shed. This desire for practicality
was balanced by conservation mandates in the Endangered
Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. Government
scientists, on the other hand, had no practicality mandate to
ful l. So while they were concerned about practicality, they
placed primacy on conservation. The shers shing knowledge
coupled with the need to have practical and effective
conservation technologies created invention parameters that
facilitated their success.
The pro le of a successful marine conservation technology
inventor includes at least three characteristics. (1) They have
extensive experience with commercial shing. (2) They have
extensive experience with fabrication. (3) They have a means
to visualise the action of deployed gear, either by using mental
modelling or divers and cameras.
Existing invention theory offers support that this pro le
can be expandable beyond marine shing to create a more
general profile of a successful conservation technology
inventor. The critical feature of the rst characteristic is
experience. A successful conservation technology inventor
will have extensive experience relevant to the problem and
potential solutions. The successful conservation technology
inventor will also have extensive experience in fabrication.
Many world-class inventors present at a conference on
invention linked their exceptional inventiveness to gaining
considerable hands-on machine shop experience early in their
careers. They believed that this distinguished them from their
less inventive colleagues (Perkins & Weber 1992). Finally,
successful conservation technology inventors have the ability
and tendency to employ mental and/or physical models, to
assemble and re ne inventions. Eugene Ferguson (1977)
argued this was a de ning difference between technologists
and scientists. He concluded that technologists and engineers
create using non-verbal, visual thought, i.e., mental modelling.
They mentally visualised and assembled the components of
their inventions, before sketching or building the device. In
contrast, scientists are more likely to manipulate concepts,
mathematical expressions, and hypotheses (Ferguson 1977).
Based on my case studies, I add to this that technologists will
use mental and physical models to re ne the technology before
building a full prototype. Scientists, however, will build full
52 / Lekelia D. Jenkins
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
prototypes, test them, analyse the data, modify the technology
and then test it again. Scientists tend to engage in a systematic
and comparatively time-consuming physical re nement, while
technologists successfully circumvent this through mental and
physical modelling.
Researchers profiling successful inventors found that
common characteristics are intelligence, ingenuity, and
articulateness (Perkins & Weber 1992). Although my research
did not attempt to assess the intelligence and ingenuity of
inventors, the key informants in both case studies often
describe successful inventors in these or similar terms. Thus I
am inclined to agree with the rst and second characteristics,
but have reservations about articulateness tting the pro le.
In the context of the traditional inventors that they study, the
concept is sound. They note that inventors need to be articulate
to convince others of the worth of their ideas. Among the
inventors I interviewed, especially the shers, their eloquence
was not a shining feature, but all the inventors were very
talkative. This was particularly true of one inventor who made
up for lack of eloquence with persistence. Additionally, at
least one inventor was not functionally literate and several did
not complete high school. This could have posed a problem,
because many shrimpers’ TED ideas were submitted for
consideration in writing. But the extensive verbal networks
in shing communities allowed another path for these ideas
to reach Sea Grant or NMFS.
CONCLUSION
Based on my case studies, the general pro le of a successful
inventor of conservation technology contains three
characteristics (1) a successful conservation technology
inventor will have extensive experience relevant to the problem
and potential solutions, (2) he or she will have extensive
experience in fabrication, and (3) he or she will have the ability
and tendency to employ mental and/or physical models, to
assemble and re ne inventions. In keeping with Perkins’ and
Weber’s pro le of a successful inventor, successful inventors of
conservation technology may also be intelligent and ingenious;
this would be a topic worthy of future study.
In the case of successful fisher–inventors of marine
conservation technology, they tend to engage in mental
modelling. The act of mental modelling allows the sher–
inventors to create mental representation of devices and
conduct simulated tests of their performance. In this way,
fisher–inventors can sort through and identify the most
promising designs without building timely and costly
prototypes. Given the dire extinction timelines and limited
conservation resources for sea turtles and other endangered
species, mental modelling could be a cost-effective rapid
assessment tool. In the case of successful scientist–inventors,
they tend to employ physical prototypes and technology
to visualise and test them. This process is more costly and
time-consuming than mental modelling, but better suited
for the ne-scale re nements needed towards the end of the
development process.
For future efforts to invent marine conservation technologies,
extension agents and government gear specialists should recruit
speci c individuals matching the Successful Inventor Pro le.
Individuals having the rst characteristic can be identi ed
in that they will readily express pride in their skill with and
knowledge of boats, gear, and sh capture. They may have a
reputation as a highliner or be well-respected for their shing
skill. Those having the second characteristic can be identi ed
in that they have experience as a machinist or net-man, or
they do their own major boat or gear repairs. They may have
a reputation as a ‘tinkerer’, i.e., constantly seeking to improve
performance by modifying gear. People who possess the third
characteristic can readily describe the action of deployed gear
and can mentally model the effect of modi cations on gear
performance.
Using the successful inventor pro le would help create
a more effective and ef cient invention process for marine
conservation technologies, by aiding the targeted recruitment
of individuals not just willing to try to solve a problem but
who also possess the skills and knowledge needed to do so.
In addition, acknowledging the bene t of mental modelling
and incorporating individuals with this skill would streamline
the invention process. If these individuals were also shers,
their reputations in their local communities could help propel
the adoption of conservation technologies by triggering the
Local Inventor Effect.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank my key informants for participating in this
research. I would like to acknowledge my PhD advisors Larry
Crowder and Michael Orbach for their advice and support over
the course of my dissertation research at Duke University. I am
thankful to Michael Gorman for introducing me to the concept of
mental modelling and to Sara Maxwell for her editorial help and
encouragement. I would also like to thank the National Science
Foundation and the Oak Foundation for funding this research.
Notes
1. Unpublished reports, data, and quotes references in this article can be
obtained from the author.
2. The year 2002 is the year when NMFS decerti ed many TEDs in
accordance with new federal regulations requiring that TEDs be large
enough to accommodate leatherback sea turtles. Because there are no
statistically representative surveys of TED use, I have de ned a ‘widely
adopted’ TED as a TED that TED experts have said was used by a
signi cant portion of the shery in more than one state. By being used
in more than one state, this demonstrates that the TED could be used
in a variety of shrimping conditions. However, I have given special
consideration to TEDs that were used in only one state, but where the
majority of shrimpers in that area used that TED. One confounding factor
in this analysis of success is the treatment of time. NMFS certi ed TEDs
in different years. The differing socio-political landscape of the TED
case during those years had an effect on what TEDs were adopted and
to what extent. I accounted for this variable based on the information
provided by informants as to their TED preference and the reasons and
circumstance that drove their adoption decisions.
3. The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council has authority to
make regulatory recommendations to the United States government for
Pro le and in uence of successful sher-inventors / 53
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
marine sheries in the southeastern United States.
4. The Endangered Species Act is the primary law in the United States
governing the protection of endangered species.
5. Some of these styles were certi ed in multiple sizes, being the total of
distinct TEDs to fteen.
6. Notably, the Super Shooter TED, Anthony Weedless TED, and Parker
TED were not certi ed at the time of these programmes nor the survey.
7. At the time of the case study, dolphins were often referred to as porpoises.
8. The porpoise grabber is a type of shepherd’s crook that aids in guiding
dolphins out of the net.
9. For a description of these devices see Coe et al. 1984.
10. A highliner is a boat captain whose superior shing skill yields major
nancial pro t and a reputation as a master sher.
REFERENCES
Anon. 1971. Pity the poor porpoise. Newsweek (September 6, 1971): 60.
Barham, E., W. Taguchi and S. Reilly. 1977. Porpoise rescue methods in the
yellow n purse seine shery and the importance of Medina panel mesh
size. Marine Fisheries Review 39: 1–10.
Bernard, H.R. 2002. Research methods in anthropology: Qualitative and
quantitative approaches. Walnut Creek: Altamira Press.
Berry, F.H. 1987. Mexus-Gulf sea turtle research 1977-1985. Marine Fisheries
Review 49: 50–51.
Coe, J.M., D.B. Holts and R.W. Butler. 1984. The tuna-porpoise problem:
NMFS dolphin mortality reduction research, 1970-1981. Marine
Fisheries Review 46: 18–33.
Durrenberger, E.P. 1996. Gulf coast soundings: people and policy in the
Mississippi shrimp industry. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
Ferguson, E.S. 1977. The mind’s eye: Non-verbal thought in technology.
Science 197: 827–836.
Fox, W.W. 1975a. Gear cruise report - Eastern Paci c. Unpublished report.
National Marine Fisheries Service, La Jolla, USA.
Fox, W.W. 1975b. Recent porpoise gear cruise. Unpublished report. National
Marine Fisheries Service, La Jolla, USA.
Gorman, M.E. and W.B. Carlson. 1990. Interpreting invention as a cognitive
process: The case of Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and the
telephone. Science, Technology, & Human Values 15: 131–164.
Hall, M.A., H. Nakano, S. Clarke, S. Thomas, J. Molloy, S.H. Peckham,
J. Laudino-Santillán, et al. 2007. Working with shers to reduce by-
catches. In: By-catch reduction in the world’s sheries (ed. Kennelly,
S.J.). Pp. 235–288. Netherlands: Springer.
Holland, B.F. Jr. 1989. Evaluation of certi ed trawl ef ciency devices (TEDs)
in North Carolina’s nearshore ocean. Unpublished report. North Carolina
Division of Marine Fisheries, Morehead City, USA.
Johnson-Laird, P.N. 2005. Flying bicycles: How the Wright brothers invented
the airplane. Mind & Society 4: 27–48.
Joseph, J. 1994. The tuna-dolphin controversy in the eastern paci c ocean:
Biological, economic, and political impacts. Ocean Development and
International Law 25: 1–30.
Joseph, J. and J.W. Greenough. 1979. International management of tuna,
porpoise, and bill sh: Biological, legal, and political aspects. Seattle:
University of Washington Press.
Kitner, K.R. 1987. TEDS: A study of the South Atlantic shrimp shermen’s
beliefs, opinions and perceptions regarding the use of turtle excluder
devices. Unpublished report. South Atlantic Fishery Management
Council, Charleston, USA.
Maiolo, J.R. 2004. Hard times and a nickel a bucket: Struggle and survival in
North Carolina’s shrimp industry. Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill Press, Inc.
Margavio, A.V. and C.J. Forsyth. 1996. Caught in the net: The con ict
between shrimpers and conservationists. College Station: Texas A&M
University Press.
Maril, R.L. 1983. Texas shrimpers: Community, capitalism, and the sea.
College Station: Texas A&M University Press.
Maril, R.L. 1995. Bay shrimpers of Texas: Rural shermen in a global
economy. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.
McNeely, R.L. 1961. The purse seine revolution in tuna shing. Paci c
Fisherman (June): 27–58.
McNeely, R.L. 2002. Little squeak from dunbar (Memoirs of Richard L.
McNeely). Unpublished manuscript. Seattle, USA.
Mitchell, J.F., D. Foster and J. Watson. 1996. 1996 TED testing: Summary of
evaluations and results. Unpublished report. National Marine Fisheries
Service, Pascagoula, USA.
Mitchell, J.F. and A. Shah. 1992. Report of TED ef ciency trials aboard a
Mexican shrimp trawler, a U.S./Mexico cooperative study. Unpublished
report. National Marine Fisheries Service, Pascagoula, USA.
Morrison, J.B. 2007. Salt water in my blood: The life story of legendary seaman
cap’n Sonny Morrison. Mclellanville: Self published.
National Marine Fisheries Service. 1977. Monthly report - July and August
1977. Unpublished report. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest
Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, USA.
National Marine Fisheries Service. 1981. Monthly report - July 1981.
Unpublished report. National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest
Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, USA.
National Research Council. 1990. Decline of the sea turtles: Causes and
prevention. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the tuna industry. Washington,
DC: National Academy Press.
North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. 1987. Summary of the North
Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries’ preliminary TED testing.
Unpublished report. North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries,
Morehead City, USA.
Nersessian, N.J. 2007. Thought experimenting as mental modeling:
Empiricism without logic. Croatian Journal of Philosophy VII: 125-161.
Orbach, M.K. 1977. Hunters, seamen and entrepreneurs: The tuna seinermen
of San Diego. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Pearce, KB., D.W. Moye and S.K. Strasser. 1989. Evaluations of trawl excluder
devices in the Pamilico Sound shrimp shery. Albemarle-Pamlico
Estuarine Study, North Carolina, USA.
Perkins, D.N. and R.J. Weber. 1992. Conclusion: Effable invention. In:
Inventive minds: Creativity in technology (eds. Weber, R.J. and D.N.
Perkins). New York: Oxford University Press.
Rogers, E.M. 1995. Diffusion of innovations. New York: The Free Press.
Spotila, J.R., R.D. Reina, A.C. Steyermark, P.T. Plotkin and F.V. Paladino.
2000. Paci c leatherback turtles face extinction. Nature 405: 529–530.
Strauss, A.L. and J. Corbin. 1998. Basics of qualitative research: Techniques
and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks: SAGE
Publications, Inc.
Street, M.W. 1990. Research on turtle excluder devices in North Carolina.
Unpublished report. North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries,
Morehead City, USA.
Watson, J. 1985. Annual report FY85: Trawling ef ciency device project.
Unpublished report. National Marine Fisheries Service, Pascagoula,
USA.
Weber, M. 1995. Chronology of sea turtles, shrimp fishing, and turtle
excluder devices. Unpublished report. Center for Marine Conservation,
Washington, DC, USA.
54 / Lekelia D. Jenkins
[Downloaded free from http://www.conservationandsociety.org on Thursday, April 22, 2010]
... We then reconstruct the narrative of overfishing as a complex process by exploring four representative (but by no means exhaustive) mediating drivers of fishing effort where issues of power and politics are particularly salient: technology and innovation (e.g. Boserup, 1965;Jenkins, 2010;Kremer, 1993), demand and distribution (e.g. Bennett, Govan, & Satterfield, 2015;Österblom et al., 2015;Swartz, Rashid Sumaila, Watson, & Pauly, 2010), marginalization and equity (e.g. ...
... For example, if destructive gear is the primary driver of overfishing, a closer look at differential access to fishing technology and permits can uncover potential systemic inequalities driving fisherman behaviour and gear utilization. Likewise, fisher involvement in innovation and testing of new technology can increase efficacy and uptake of new sustainable technologies (Jenkins, 2010). Addressing issues of demand and distribution may require national-level policies restricting access of distant water vessels, efforts to address the accumulation of licenses by corporations, or greater attention to ensure local fisheries adequately contribute to food and livelihood security. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis of the root causes of overfishing can lead to misguided and ineffective fisheries policies and programmes. The “Malthusian overfishing narrative” suggests that overfishing is driven by too many fishers chasing too few fish and that fishing effort grows proportionately to human population growth, requiring policy interventions that reduce fisher access, the number of fishers, or the human population. By neglecting other drivers of overfishing that may be more directly related to fishing pressure and provide more tangible policy levers for achieving fisheries sustainability, Malthusian overfishing relegates blame to regions of the world with high population growth rates, while consumers, corporations and political systems responsible for these other mediating drivers remain unexamined. While social–ecological systems literature has provided alternatives to the Malthusian paradigm, its focus on institutions and organized social units often fails to address fundamental issues of power and politics that have inhibited the design and implementation of effective fisheries policy. Here, we apply a political ecology lens to unpack Malthusian overfishing and, relying upon insights derived from the social sciences, reconstruct the narrative incorporating four exemplar mediating drivers: technology and innovation, resource demand and distribution, marginalization and equity, and governance and management. We argue that a more nuanced understanding of such factors will lead to effective and equitable fisheries policies and programmes, by identifying a suite of policy levers designed to address the root causes of overfishing in diverse contexts.
... We then reconstruct the narrative of overfishing as a complex process by exploring four representative (but by no means exhaustive) mediating drivers of fishing effort where issues of power and politics are particularly salient: technology and innovation (e.g. Boserup, 1965;Jenkins, 2010;Kremer, 1993), demand and distribution (e.g. Bennett, Govan, & Satterfield, 2015;Österblom et al., 2015;Swartz, Rashid Sumaila, Watson, & Pauly, 2010), marginalization and equity (e.g. ...
... For example, if destructive gear is the primary driver of overfishing, a closer look at differential access to fishing technology and permits can uncover potential systemic inequalities driving fisherman behaviour and gear utilization. Likewise, fisher involvement in innovation and testing of new technology can increase efficacy and uptake of new sustainable technologies (Jenkins, 2010). Addressing issues of demand and distribution may require national-level policies restricting access of distant water vessels, efforts to address the accumulation of licenses by corporations, or greater attention to ensure local fisheries adequately contribute to food and livelihood security. ...
Article
Full-text available
Inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis of the root causes of overfishing can lead to misguided and ineffective fisheries policies and programmes. The “Malthusian overfishing narrative” suggests that overfishing is driven by too many fishers chasing too few fish and that fishing effort grows proportionately to human population growth, requiring policy interventions that reduce fisher access, the number of fishers, or the human population. By neglecting other drivers of overfishing that may be more directly related to fishing pressure and provide more tangible policy levers for achieving fisheries sustainability, Malthusian overfishing relegates blame to regions of the world with high population growth rates, while consumers, corporations and political systems responsible for these other mediating drivers remain unexamined. While social–ecological systems literature has provided alternatives to the Malthusian paradigm, its focus on institutions and organized social units often fails to address fundamental issues of power and politics that have inhibited the design and implementation of effective fisheries policy. Here, we apply a political ecology lens to unpack Malthusian overfishing and, relying upon insights derived from the social sciences, reconstruct the narrative incorporating four exemplar mediating drivers: technology and innovation, resource demand and distribution, marginalization and equity, and governance and management. We argue that a more nuanced understanding of such factors will lead to effective and equitable fisheries policies and programmes, by identifying a suite of policy levers designed to address the root causes of overfishing in diverse contexts.
... On the negative side, the initial effects of the identification and subsequent threat of trade sanctions jeopardized bycatch reduction programs that fisher leaders had voluntarily helped develop over the past decade, which were inherently vulnerable to begin with due to the sensitive nature of switching gear and practices [17]. As previously noted, from 2007 to 2011 ProCaguama and its partners made strong progress towards mitigating loggerhead bycatch in the Gulf of Ulloa by working with local fisher leaders to voluntarily switch to more turtlefriendly fishing gear and techniques in the loggerhead hotspot, including hook and line, small-mesh surface nets, and buoyless nets [41][42][43][44]. ...
... Caballero-Aspe, unpublished data). The high adoption following these trials can be attributed to the participatory research approach employed by [41][42][43][44], which has been found to be an integral component for achieving bycatch reduction in actual fisheries [16,17,6]. From 2009 onward, all of the boats in the Santa Rosa bottom-set longline fleet had converted to turtle-safe gear, and 5-6 of the 30-60 boat Lopez Mateos bottom-set net fleet were fishing with buoyless nets and another 3-4 with hook and line, although fleet size can vary widely in any given season depending on fishing conditions. Based on previously published estimates of seasonal fleet-wide bycatch rates in the bottom-set longline fishery in the Gulf of Ulloa (1885 ± 286 turtles per season, [40]), we estimate that the collaborative approach achieved likely bycatch reductions in the range of approximately 1,599 -2,171 turtles per fishing season in the fleet. ...
... Despite reductions in shrimp trawling effort (Condrey and Fuller 1992;Iversen et al. 1993;TEWG 1998), Kemp's ridley annual nests continued to decline through 1985 ( Fig. 2) (Frazer 1986), but this decline reversed in 1986 (Fig. 3). In 1987, NMFS established the first regulations requiring use of TEDs in shrimp trawls within the southeastern US shrimp fishery (Condrey and Fuller 1992;Yaninek 1995;Epperly 2003;Jenkins 2010Jenkins , 2012Damiano 2014;National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] 2014). CSTC (1990) designated shrimp trawling as the major cause of sea turtle mortality associated with human activities and the most important human-associated source of deaths of adult and subadult sea turtles. ...
... This demonstrated the population's resilience and responsiveness to Mexico's early conservation actions and efforts. It was not until 1987 that NMFS established the first regulations requiring use of TEDs in shrimp trawls within the southeastern US shrimp fishery and not until 1994 that NMFS established regulations requiring use of TEDs in shrimp trawls at all times in this fishery (Condrey and Fuller 1992;Yaninek 1995;Epperly 2003;Jenkins 2010Jenkins , 2012Damiano 2014;NOAA 2014). ...
Article
The full text of this paper is available from: http://www.chelonianjournals.org/doi/full/10.2744/CCB-1189.1 Its Erratum is in CHELONIAN CONSERVATION AND BIOLOGY, Volume 15, Number 2, December 2016
... For example, strong leaders play a critical role in successful community based fisheries management, because they provide motivation, stability, and links to other stakeholders for community members [38,39]. Trusted, knowledgeable, and experienced key individuals facilitate collaborative learning [16,36] and collective action [35,40] by providing the necessary guidance to make sure the learning outcomes are achieved, while also providing the necessary links to government agencies and NGOs for sources of information and further support [16,36,41]. When key individuals are able to exchange information with other stakeholders, such as during a FLE, the group can identify common interests and gather support for management initiatives [41]. ...
... In the Northern Australia coastal management exchange, presentations by peers and NGOs received a high satisfaction level by participants in both enjoyment and usefulness [9]. This peer-topeer sharing also increases adoption of marine conservation technologies [40]. ...
... In the case of large-scale tuna fisheries that operate in the open ocean, collaborative development is especially valuable, as scientific research in wide ranging fishing grounds is expensive due to the need to hire research vessels and the time needed for scientists to be at sea (Moreno et al., 2007). More specifically for megafauna bycatch, participatory research involving surveys, workshops, focus groups, and other information gathering and sharing methods between fishers and scientists has yielded to date some of the most successful developments in mitigation technologies including turtle excluder devices (TEDs), tori lines, Medina panels, and the backdown procedure, to name a few (Hall, 2007;Jenkins, 2010;Johnson, 2010). To co-develop Mobulid bycatch mitigation strategies in tropical tuna purse seine fisheries, we conducted a qualitative and quantitative investigation of fisher knowledge of, perceptions about, and ideas to address threatened species bycatch in large-scale tuna fisheries. ...
Article
Full-text available
Manta and devil rays (Mobulids) face several immediate threats, including incidental capture in industrial tropical tuna fisheries. As a result, efforts have emerged to avoid or mitigate Mobulid bycatch in these fisheries. However, many mitigation efforts fail to incorporate fisher expertise from the outset, potentially leading to interventions that are not viable. Here, we combine survey and focus group data to synthesize knowledge of Mobulid bycatch and mitigation ideas in Eastern Pacific Ocean purse seine fisheries. Primary obstacles for mitigating Mobulid bycatch, according to respondents, are: (1) an inability to sight Mobulids before capture, (2) the lack of specific equipment on board, and (3) the difficulty of releasing large individuals; we suggest that the latter two can be addressed by simple operational modifications. We also find that Mobulids are most likely to be sighted by fishers after capture, suggesting that this is an important time in the fishing operation for bycatch mitigation interventions that ensure Mobulids survive capture. To address this, we share creative ideas brought by fishers for avoidance of Mobulids. This study provides a model of how to incorporate stakeholder input in the design of bycatch technology in large-scale fisheries and could inform similar efforts around the world.
... Commercial fishermen believe in the importance of equity (Acheson 1981, Davis 1991, Durrenberger 1997, Pooley et al. 1998, Olson 2006, Pinkerton 2013, Bennett et al. 2020). But they also have a tradition of "highliners," who are the most successful fishermen and therefore earn more than the average, thus acquiring social status as successful fishermen (Sinclair 1983, Acheson 1988, Brown 2010, Jenkins 2010: endnote 10). Acheson (1988:52) notes, however: "The prestige enjoyed by highline fishermen is especially great if they adhere to other valued community norms and goals." ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
As United States fisheries managers develop and modify fisheries management plans that set catch limits for the Nation’s commercially important fish stocks, the importance of including and weighing the social impacts associated with changes in management has gained increasing attention. In recognition of the potential for social impacts, social impact assessments have been made a requirement of the overall environmental impact assessment process under the National Environmental Policy Act. To date, there has not been a standardized way of conducting and presenting a fisheries social impact assessment (SIA). In addition, there is a need for a template that incorporates existing data streams and identifies potential new sources of information while being applicable to a wide range of fisheries management decisions. The objective of this Handbook is to provide technical advice for NOAA Fisheries and fishery management councils to streamline the SIA process while fully capturing relevant social impacts. The Handbook provides a primer on SIA in fisheries, the purpose of an SIA, key elements that should be included in SIAs, and common types of social impacts associated with particular management measures. It also reviews the legal requirements for conducting SIAs and provides a set of best practices and analytical tools for conducting SIAs. In addition, it describes the relationship of this Handbook to NMFS Guidance for Social Impact Assessment.
... The management of the bycatch of threatened species could be significantly improved by an interdisciplinary approach (Reynolds et al. 2009;Hamann et al. 2010;Jenkins 2010;Whitty 2014). When bycatch reduction techniques are proposed as solutions, researchers frequently make ...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we study a fishing community and its relationship with non-human species, including threatened marine mammals and turtles incidentally captured by fishers. We focus on the interaction between this fishing community and a group of conservation experts who seek to protect these vulnerable species by proposing the testing of alternative fishing gear. This conservation practice, however, ignores the fishing community’s worldview − which includes its relationship with animal species and the links and negotiations established with other stakeholders. Through an interdisciplinary ethnographic approach, we find that although fishers classify species according to their capacity to be exploited as a resource, they may also be willing to become strategic conservationists by negotiating with conservation experts to protect some of these species. The coexistence of strategic conservation and resource exploitation practices in this fishing community does not preclude the existence of an ‘implicit communalism’, in which resource exploitation is rooted in daily intimacy with various species. A comprehensive reconstruction of local perspectives and practices is a first step towards a democratic exchange between local and expert knowledge in pursuit of the conservation of biodiversity.
... The management of the bycatch of threatened species could be significantly improved by an interdisciplinary approach (Reynolds et al. 2009;Hamann et al. 2010;Jenkins 2010;Whitty 2014). When bycatch reduction techniques are proposed as solutions, researchers frequently make ...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we study a fishing community and its relationship with non-human species, including threatened marine mammals and turtles incidentally captured by fishers. We focus on the interaction between this fishing community and a group of conservation experts who seek to protect these vulnerable species by proposing the testing of alternative fishing gear. This conservation practice, however, ignores the fishing community's worldview − which includes its relationship with animal species and the links and negotiations established with other stakeholders. Through an interdisciplinary ethnographic approach, we find that although fishers classify species according to their capacity to be exploited as a resource, they may also be willing to become strategic conservationists by negotiating with conservation experts to protect some of these species. The coexistence of strategic conservation and resource exploitation practices in this fishing community does not preclude the existence of an 'implicit communalism', in which resource exploitation is rooted in daily intimacy with various species. A comprehensive reconstruction of local perspectives and practices is a first step towards a democratic exchange between local and expert knowledge in pursuit of the conservation of biodiversity.
... Additionally, a recent study in Puget Sound suggested that anglers' inability to differentiate between certain rockfish species could lead to the perception that depleted rockfishes are not in need of conservation because anglers do encounter some of the more abundant species [49]. Finally, this education of anglers by anglers may be highly effective; gear intended to decrease bycatch has been shown to be adopted at higher rates when the inventor is a local angler [57]. ...
Conference Paper
The paper argues that the practice of thought experimenting enables scientists to follow through the implications of a way of representing nature by simulating an exemplary or representative situation that is feasible within that representation. What distinguishes thought experimenting front logical argument and other forms of propositional reasoning is that reasoning by means of a thought experiment involves constructing, and simulating a mental model of a representative situation. Although thought experimenting is a creative part of scientific practice, it is a highly refined extension of a mundane form of reasoning. It is not a mystery why scientific thought experiments are a reliable source of empirical insights. Thought experimenting uses and manipulates representations that derive front real-world experiences and our conceptualizations of them.
Article
Introduction of the porpoise releasing method known as "backdown" by Anton Meizetich and Manuel Neves and the development of small-mesh porpoise safety panels by Harold Medina raises the question of the optimum mesh size for the panels. Medina panels of relatively standard dimensions hung from 2-inch mesh webbing had been installed in about half the nets of the U. S. tuna purse seine fleet before passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The fishermen believed, and several statistical studies indicated, that use of the panel resulted in lower porpoise mortality. Despite the improved performance, however, porpoises were still being entangled in nets during the backdown process and a recent study indicates that up to 30 percent of porpoise mortality is due to this factor. Using mainly porpoise specimens taken in the fishery, measurements of penetration of porpoise snouts and flippers through mesh openings of 2, 1 Va, 1 '14 and 1 inches were made to elucidate the potential reduction in porpoise entangle- ment that could be expected through use of Medina panel mesh sizes of less than 2 inches. With their jaws closed, the snouts of even the smallest specimen could not penetrate 1-inch mesh, and the average penetration with the jaws open was grossly reduced as were penetrations of pectoral fins. Because of added weight and drag, additions of large sections of small-mesh netting can drastically affect the buoyancy and hydrodynamic performance of purse seines. Recent tests of porpoise "aprons" and "chutes" (trapezoidal-shaped sections of webbing ap- pended to Medina panels) promise a means of making small-mesh netting compat- ible with tuna purse seine performance.
Article
Historians of technology have provided important accounts of technological innovation, but they rarely employ concepts which permit a rigorous analysis ofinvention as a mental or cognitive process. This article seeks to address this theoretical lacuna by using concepts adapted from cognitive psychology to compare the mental processes of two telephone inventors, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. Specifically, we suggest that invention may be seen as a process in which inventors combine ideas with objects, or what we call mental models and mechanical representations. The strategies by which inventors generate and manipulate these mental models and mechanical representations are what we refer to as heuristics. Using these concepts to narrate the development of the telephone, this article shows how invention can be interpreted as being much more than simply a mysterious act of individual genius.
Article
Since 1959 several million dolphins have been killed in the purse‐seine fishery for tunas in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Through combined efforts of the nations whose vessels participate in this fishery, annual dolphin mortality in the fishery was reduced from about 350,000 animals during the 1960s to about 15,000 animals in 1992. In 1993 10 nations implemented an international program to progressively reduce this mortality even further, with a goal of eventually eliminating it. During 1993, the first year of the program, it appears that dolphin mortality will be less than 4000 animals. An alternative program, which would impose a moratorium on fishing for tunas associated with dolphins beginning in 1994, has been proposed. Controversy concerning the practicality and effects of the two programs centers around the morality of fishing for tunas associated with dolphins and the biological, economic, and political impacts of each program.