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Broken or Lost Lobster Trap Tags Ordered before May 1, 2013 to be Replaced for Free

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, who ordered them before May 1, 2013, to contact the nearest Marine Patrol office to arrange for free replacements.

“We believe this issue is the result of a minor defect in the manufacturing of the tags that was resolved in April, however there are some tags that were ordered before the problem was fixed that are still in circulation,” explained Marine Patrol Major Jon Cornish. "Those are the ones we will replace for free."

Marine Patrol officials will also be supplied with replacement tags to provide them in the field to harvesters with broken or lost tags, if they ordered their tags before May 1, 2013.

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.

For tags that were oredered before May 1, 2013, if more than ten percent of them 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 Major Cornish.

“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 Major Cornish.

Tags are used to identify the traps of a licensed harvester and must be affixed to each trap. “Tags are an important tool for the management of this fishery,” said Major Cornish. “The Marine Patrol uses them to confirm that each trap in the water is associated with a license, which helps us maintain the health and sustainability of Maine’s most valuable fishery.”

To arrange for replacement of broken tags, contact the Marine Patrol office in Lamoine at 667-3373 or in Boothbay at 633-9595.