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Gear Marking for Northeast Lobster/Jonah Crab Trap Pots

Changes to gear marking requirements for both state and federal waters for Northeast lobster and Jonah crab trap/pot gear are required in the 2021 modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan.

The tables below show the new gear marking requirements for lobster and Jonah crab trap/pot gear in the Northeast. Requirements for all other management areas and other fisheries under the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan remain the same. These requirements represent the minimum markings. Additional markings are allowed. 

Requirements are based on the permittee's principal port.

For questions related to state water gear marking requirements, please contact your state agency.

Maine

State Waters Federal Waters (May 1, 2022)

One 3-foot SOLID PURPLE mark within 2 fathoms of the buoy; and

One 12-inch PURPLE mark in top 50% of buoy line and in the bottom 50% of buoy line.

For rules in Maine Exempt Waters, contact Maine DMR.

One 3-foot SOLID PURPLE color mark within 6 inches of one 12-inch SOLID GREEN mark in the top 2 fathoms of buoy; and

One 12-inch PURPLE mark at the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line below the surface system; and

One 12-inch GREEN mark at the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line, each within 6 inches of a PURPLE mark

Solid purple and green marks close to surface buoy system
Example of surface system marks for federal waters by Maine-permitted fishermen.

 

New Hampshire

State Waters Federal Waters (May 1, 2022)

One 3-foot SOLID YELLOW mark within 2 fathoms of buoy; and

One 12-inch YELLOW mark in top 50% of buoy line and in the bottom 50% of buoy line.

YELLOW line may be used in place of YELLOW gear marks.

One 3-foot SOLID YELLOW color mark within 6 inches of one 12-inch SOLID GREEN mark in the top 2 fathoms of buoy; and

One 12-inch YELLOW mark at the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line below the surface system; and

One 12-inch GREEN mark at the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line, each within 6 inches of a YELLOW mark.

If YELLOW line is used, GREEN marks are still required in the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line.

 

Massachusetts

State Waters (Feb 1, 2022)

Federal Waters (May 1, 2022)

One 3-foot SOLID RED mark within 2 fathoms of buoy; and

A minimum of two RED marks measuring at least 2 feet in length in the top 50% of the buoy line and two RED marks measuring at least 2 feet in length in the bottom 50% of buoy line.

Additional marks may be required, as there can be no length of buoy line greater than 60 feet without a RED mark measuring at least 2 feet in length.

*If the buoy line is RED or RED/WHITE (Candy Cane), WHITE marks may be substituted for RED marks.

One 3-foot SOLID RED color mark within 2 fathoms of buoy with one 12-inch SOLID GREEN mark no more than 1 foot below the SOLID RED mark;

One 2-foot long mark consisting of one 12-inch RED mark (can be longer) and one 12-inch GREEN mark at the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line below the surface system.

* If you have line marked at every 60 feet as required by the state, there must be a GREEN mark next to all RED state marks.

**If the buoy line is RED or RED/WHITE striped (Candy Cane), WHITE marks may be substituted for RED marks above.

Solid red and green marks in surface system near buoy.
Example of surface system marks for federal waters by Massachusetts-permitted fishermen.

Rhode Island

State Waters Federal Waters (May 1, 2022)

One 3-foot SOLID SILVER/GRAY mark within 2 fathoms of buoy; and

One 12-inch SILVER/GRAY mark in top 50% of buoy line and in the bottom 50% of buoy line.

One 3-foot SOLID SILVER/GRAY color mark within 6 inches of one 12-inch SOLID GREEN mark in the top 2 fathoms of buoy; and

One 12-inch SILVER/GRAY mark at the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line below the surface system; and

One 12-inch GREEN mark at the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line, each within 6 inches of a SILVER/GRAY mark.

 

LMA 3

Federal Waters (May 1, 2022)

One 3-foot SOLID BLACK color mark within 6 inches of one 12-inch SOLID GREEN mark in the top 2 fathoms of buoy; and

One 12-inch BLACK mark at the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line below the surface system; and

One 12-inch GREEN mark at the top, middle, and bottom of the buoy line, each within 6 inches of a BLACK mark.

 

The solid 3-foot marks and 12-inch marks in the surface system may be applied with dye, paint, tape, heat-shrink tubing, insertion of a colored rope or braided sleeve, or the line may be marked as approved in writing by the Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator.

The 12-inch marks below the surface system may be added using dye, paint, tape, heat-shrink tubing, zip ties; spliced in insertion of a colored rope or braided sleeve or other material, or a thin line may be woven into or through the line; or the line may be marked as approved in writing by the Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator.