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Lobster Trap Tag Ordering Instructions - 2017 Fishing Year (May 1, 2017 – April 30, 2018)

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 23, 2017

Effective Date: May 1, 2017 – April 30, 2018)

If you intend to fish for lobsters in Federal waters with trap gear during the 2017 fishing year, you must renew your Federal lobster permit and order lobster trap tags.  This guide outlines how to order your trap tags; your permit renewal application will be sent separately.  In some cases, you may be required to order trap tags through your state fisheries agency, as explained below.

To fish with lobster traps in Federal waters, you must: #(1) Be eligible to fish in at least one lobster management area; (2) select at least one lobster management area on your Federal permit renewal application; and (3) indicate on your application that you will be fishing with trap gear (gear code 800).  Once issued, we will forward the lobster management areas you select on your Federal permit renewal application to Cambridge Security Seals (CSS) so they appear on your 2017 trap tags.  Only tags purchased through CSS will be considered valid.  If you purchase your trap tags through a state agency, you must choose the same lobster management areas on the state’s trap tag order forms that you have chosen on your Federal permit renewal application.  You must attach a 2017 trap tag to each fished lobster trap.  In order to fish for lobster after May 31, 2017, you must use 2017 trap tags.  The deadline for attaching the 2017 trap tags to your lobster traps is June 1, 2017. 

Using the Trap Tag Order Form

Who SHOULD order trap tags using the enclosed form?

You must order your lobster trap tags using the enclosed form if you have a Federal lobster permit and your permit address is in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, or North Carolina.

Who should NOT order tags with the enclosed form?

If your Federal lobster permit has a Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island address, you must order your trap tags from your state agency.

Maine: If you have a Federal lobster permit and a State of Maine lobster license, you must purchase your trap tags through the Maine Department of Marine Resources; otherwise, contact NMFS at (978) 675-2162.

New York: If you elect to fish in Area 6 only, you are required to purchase your trap tags from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation; otherwise, you may use the enclosed form.

 

Ordering Lobster Trap Tags

Where do I send the completed form?

Cambridge Security Seals
One Cambridge Plaza
Pomona, NY 10970

How do I pay for the trap tags?

A cashier’s check or money order payable to Cambridge Security Seals, or a credit card authorization.  They will not accept personal or corporate checks or cash.  Payment amount should include the sales tax for your state of residence if you are not tax exempt.

Where do I send my tax exemption information?

Submit the state tax exemption form and other relevant documentation with your trap tag application.  You may obtain these forms from your state’s Department of Revenue.  Cambridge Security Seals will not process orders received without a tax exemption certificate or applicable sales tax.

How long will it take to get my trap tags?

It may take up to 4 weeks to get your trap tags once your order has been received by CSS.  For questions concerning orders, contact CSS at (845) 520-4111 ext. 117 or traptag@cambridgeseals.com, or you may contact us at (978) 675-2162.

How many trap tags can I order?

Your overall trap allocation is the lowest trap limit of all lobster trap areas designated on your 2017 permit.  With this Federal form, you may order that number of trap tags, plus an additional 10 percent to be used for trap tag losses (See guidance on tag loss below).

Who’s responsible for lost/destroyed trap tags?

The vessel owner or operator is accountable for all trap tags and is required to report all lost or destroyed tags, regardless of reason, to NMFS within 7 days after the trap tags are known to be lost or destroyed.  There is additional guidance on the next page for what to do if more than 10 percent of your tags are lost.

How do I report the trap tags that were lost or destroyed?

Submit a statement by fax to: (978) 281-9135; or by mail to:

Lobster Trap Tag Replacement Program
National Marine Fisheries Service
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA, 01930

What should the statement for lost/destroyed trap tags include?

A description of the events that resulted in the destruction or loss of trap tags, such as: Date the tags were first known to be lost or destroyed; last known latitude and longitude coordinates of traps/tags; weather events or other suspected causes of loss; the date traps/tags were last seen; and any other information that will help us assess the circumstances of the loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t fish for lobster with traps?

If trap gear (code 800) is not selected on your Federal permit renewal application, you are not required to select a management area or purchase trap tags.

When will my 2017 lobster trap tags be valid?

2017 trap tags must be on your traps by June 1, 2017, and will remain valid through May 31, 2018. Note: 2017 Federal lobster permits expire April 30, 2018

What if I purchased/sold traps in the Trap Transfer Program?

We have received and processed all trap transfers for the 2017 fishing year.  If your transaction was approved, the transfer has been applied to your 2017 permit.  In December 2016, we sent participants in the trap transfer program their updated 2017 allocations.  The allocation listed on that confirmation letter shows the correct number of trap tags available for purchase under the guidelines above.

Where can I get more information?

For questions regarding lobster management area designation, the trap transfer program, or trap tag orders, contact us at (978) 675-2162 or visit the Greater Atlantic Region American Lobster webpage.

The order form can also be found online at the Forms and Applications webpage

Guidance on the Replacement of Used, Lost, or Destroyed Trap Tags

If NMFS has a trap tag agreement with your state (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or Connecticut), follow the instructions provided by your state about replacing used, lost, or destroyed trap tags.  Otherwise, you may replace trap tags that are attached to gear that is no longer in use and removed from the water, by exchanging them on a tag-for-tag basis as described below.

  1. Replacement of Lost/Destroyed Tags Not Exceeding 10 percent of Total Trap Allocation:

You must use your extra 10-percent allocation of trap tags to replace tags if the number of lost/destroyed tags does not exceed 10 percent of your total trap allocation.  You may purchase the number of tags equal to 10 percent of your total trap allocation when making your initial trap tag order using the enclosed form.  You do not need our approval to use your additional allocation for routine losses, but you are still required to report all lost/destroyed tags.

  1. Replacement of Lost/Destroyed Trap Tags Exceeding 10 percent of Total Trap Allocation:

If the number of lost/destroyed trap tags exceeds 10 percent of your total trap allocation, indicate the number of lost/destroyed trap tags you intend to replace in your statement of trap tag loss or destruction.   Submit your statement regarding your trap tag loss to us.   If you provide sufficient evidence of the loss/destruction of trap tags, we will approve your replacement request and a Lobster Trap Tag Replacement Authorization Form will be sent to you.  Note that minimum trap tag orders must be made in multiples of 20 (e.g., 20, 40, 60, etc.).  Please complete the form and submit it, along with payment for the replacement trap tags, directly to Cambridge Security Seals only after you have received approval and a form from us.

Subsequent Trap Tag Orders

You may submit additional trap tag orders after reviewing your initial tag order under the following circumstances by using the Lobster Trap Tag Order Form:

  1. Orders to Purchase the Balance of Your Trap Tag Allocation: You are not required to purchase the total allowable allocation of trap tags for the areas that you designate for trap fishing, but you must order and pay for enough trap tags for the number of traps intended to be deployed. If you do not order the total amount of trap tags you are allowed now, you may order the remaining trap tags later by using the Lobster Trap Tag Order Form and submitting it directly with payment to Cambridge Security Seals.
  1. Orders for a Tag-for-Tag Exchange: You may remove the trap tags from traps that have been taken out of the water and return these trap tags along with a completed Lobster Trap Tag Order Form and payment to Cambridge Security Seals. You will then receive an equal amount of trap tags in return.  All traps must have a valid trap tag attached to them in order to be deployed.
For small entity compliance guides, this bulletin complies with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996.  This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Region.