Originally published in Compass, July 25, 2013
Broken or lost lobster trap tags to be replaced for free by the Maine Department of Marine Resources
Due to reports of broken and lost lobster trap tags in the mid-coast and Downeast regions, the Maine Department of Marine Resources and the Maine Marine Patrol are asking lobstermen with broken or lost tags to contact the nearest Marine Patrol office to arrange for free replacements.
Marine Patrol officials will also be supplied with replacement tags to provide them in the field to harvesters with broken or lost tags, according to a press release.
The Maine Marine Patrol is asking that broken tags, if they can be retrieved, be brought into the nearest Marine Patrol office or to a local Marine Patrol official and exchanged for new tags. Unbroken tags should remain on the traps.
If more than 10 percent of a lobsterman’s tags are damaged, all tags will be replaced free of charge.
“Normally, we charge a fee for replacement tags, but because of this issue, the Marine Patrol this season is offering replacement of tags for free,” said Marine Patrol Major Jon Cornish.
“We believe this issue is the result of a minor defect in the manufacturing of the tags that has been resolved, however there are a number of tags that were distributed before the problem was fixed that are still in circulation,” he continued.
“While we have not had many reports of broken or lost tags to date, we are making every effort to be proactive and reach out to industry to ensure quick and easy access to replacement tags,” said Cornish.
Tags are used to identify the traps of a licensed harvester and must be affixed to each trap.
To arrange for replacement of broken tags, contact the Marine Patrol office in Lamoine at 667-3373 or in Boothbay at 633-9595.