|About the Book|
In the summer and fall of 1989, hundreds of shrimpers captained their vessels into position to blockade the ports and waterways of the Gulf of Mexico. These shrimpers, challenging the required use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDS) to protect turtlesMoreIn the summer and fall of 1989, hundreds of shrimpers captained their vessels into position to blockade the ports and waterways of the Gulf of Mexico. These shrimpers, challenging the required use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDS) to protect turtles from being caught in shrimp nets, felt themselves caught in the net of government regulation. Their action, the largest protest over marine resources in the history of the United States, was only the most visible response to a highly charged conflict. National environmental groups, including the Center for Marine Conservation, had spearheaded a drive to protect sea turtles, which they believed were threatened by commercial fishing nets. Their efforts resulted in the federal governments requirement that shrimpers use TEDS, devices designed to greatly reduce turtle bycatch. In the ensuing conflict, alliances were complex. State governments divided in their responses, with Florida quickly implementing the regulations and Louisiana suing to block them. Local chapters of the very environmental groups that had led the fight for TEDS remained strangely quiet. Government agencies went head to head with the groups they were supposed to support. This gripping tale, based on extensive interviews with the participants, highlights the modern ambiguities and tensions between environmental protection and those who make their livings from - and base their way of life on - what the environment offers. Hundreds of shrimpers, policymakers, researchers, and others connected with the shrimping industry told the authors their particular truths in the conflict. The result is not only the dramatic story of an episode of environmental-economic conflict but also atrenchant analysis of the complexities of change and tradition as Americas coasts are transformed from farming and fishing villages into other kinds of communities with other agendas.