- Division of Marine Fisheries
In Massachusetts, electronic tracking devices were required by May 1, 2023, for vessels federally permitted to land trap-caught American lobster and/or Jonah crab. The Federal Fiscal Year 2022 budget provided funds for this assistance program which is being distributed for the purchase and installation of an electronic tracking device and a subsequent subscription service to all eligible Massachusetts persons or entities whose vessel is required to deploy an approved electronic tracker per Addendum XXIX to Amendment 3 to the American Lobster Fishery Management Plan and Addendum IV to the Jonah Crab Fishery Management Plan.
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF) identified eligible permit holders and contacted them via US mail to give them the electronic tracking device options to install on their commercial vessel and provide a subsidy application to help cover the cost of the device, subscription service, and defray the cost of installation. MA DMF requires a completed application to accept this financial assistance and an affidavit from the permit holder that the device is installed on their identified vessel. Each permit holder who returns these forms in 2023 will receive a one-time payment of $1,500 as a subsidy for the installation of an electronic tracking device on their federally permitted vessel. As of June 6, 2023, 240 reimbursement checks of $1,500 have been issued through the program.
By Amanda Meli, Grants Coordinator