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Promoting more effective marine conservation

Technologies such as turtle excluder devices and circle hooks can help reduce the risk that fishing poses to critically endangered marine animals such as sea turtles. However, these tools are protective only if fishing communities from a number of nations and cultures adopt them and successfully integrate them into their fishing practices.

These findings come from a study by NSF-funded researchers at the University of Washington who examined the key factors for successful international promotion and use of these marine conservation technologies. The study suggests that marine conservation technology programs are likely to be most effective when they are accountable to the rules of external governmental bodies but are also flexible to account for conditions in local communities.

These results provide useful guidance for U.S. government agencies and nongovernmental organizations that promote the use of these technologies internationally across diverse communities. The recommendations can also play an important role in establishing and supporting international research and conservation efforts.

The study drew on theories from areas such as technology transfer and diffusion of innovations as well as surveys, fishing observations, statistical analysis and interviews in the U.S., Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Images (1 of )

  • a green turtle
  • a field assistant conducts a survey on fishing practices
A green turtle.
A field assistant conducts a survey on fishing practices in Ecuador.
Mark Mizrahi

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