Bycatch: interactional expertise, dolphins and the US tuna fishery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The burgeoning field of studies in expertise and experience (SEE) is a useful theoretical approach to complex problems. In light of SEE, examination of the controversial and well known case study of dolphin bycatch in the US tuna fishery, reveals that effective problem-solving was hindered by institutional tensions in respect of decision-making authority and difficulties with the integration of different expertises. Comparing the profiles of four individuals, who played distinct roles in the problem-solving process, I show that (1) to address a complex problem, a suite of contributory expertises-rarely found in one individual-may be required; (2) formal credentials are not a reliable indicator of who possesses these necessary expertises; (3) interactional expertise and interactive ability are useful tools in combining the contributory expertises of others to yield a desirable collective outcome; and (4) the concepts of contributory expertise and no expertise are useful tools for understanding the actual contribution of various parties to the problem-solving process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-712
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bycatch
  • Conservation technology
  • Expertise and experience
  • Interactional expertise
  • Invention
  • Tuna-dolphin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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