Adopting turtle excluder devices in Australia and the United States: What are the differences in technology transfer, promotion, and acceptance?

Anton D. Tucker*, Julie B. Robins, Daryl P. Mcphee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Turtle excluder devices (TEDs) are being trialed on a voluntary basis in many Australian prawn (shrimp) trawl fisheries to reduce sea turtle captures. Analysis of TED introductions into shrimp trawl fisheries of the United States provided major insights into why conflicts occurred between shrimpers, conservationists, and government agencies. A conflict over the introduction and subsequent regulation of TEDs occurred because the "problem" and the "solution" were perceived differently by the various stakeholders. Attempts to negotiate and mediate the conflict broke down, resulting in litigation against the U.S. government by conservationists and shrimpers. Litigation was not an efficient resolution to the sea turtle-TED-Trawl conflict, but it appears that litigation was the only remaining path of resolution once the issue became polarized. We review two major Australian trawl fisheries to identify any significant differences in circumstances that may affect TED acceptance. Australian trawl fisheries are structured differently and good communication occurs between industry and researchers. TEDs are being introduced as mature technology. Furthermore, bycatch issues are of increasing concern to all stakeholders. These factors, combined with insights derived from previous conflicts concerning TEDs in the United States, increase the possibilities that TEDs will be introduced to Australian fishers with better acceptance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-421
Number of pages17
JournalCoastal Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes


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