A proposal intended to curb costly trap wars would require Maine lobstermen to put two tags on traps they set outside their licensed fishing territory.
Right now, every trap that is set along Maine’s 3,500-mile coast must have at least one tag, which identifies the fisherman who owns it. That 50-cent tag is the primary enforcement tool the Maine Marine Patrol uses to make sure a lobsterman is hauling only his or her own traps.
Under state rules, Maine lobstermen can set up to 49 percent of their traps outside of their home fishing zone. In two zones along the coast, where fishermen are competing hardest for prime ocean bottom, lobstermen are already required to put second tags on traps dropped outside their home zone. Now, the Maine Department of Marine Resources wants to extend double-tagging to all seven lobster zones to make it easier to catch lobstermen who are fishing too many traps outside their zone.