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Gear Tags and Tabs

Following a repeal of the gear tagging requirements contained in the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, the fishing industry, starting April 1, 2013, began assuming the responsibility to obtain and pay for any gear tags used in the commercial fisheries where gear tagging is required.

To guide the process, DFO developed the Protocol for Gear Tagging in Atlantic Commercial Fisheries (The Protocol). The first cycle of the Protocol was implemented from 2014-2017. The updated Protocol, which establishes a repeating 3-year cycle for tags distribution, will be effective April 1, 2018, and is available at The Protocol sets out application procedures, tags specifications, the process for issuing tags to licence holders, and audit processes in place to ensure the reliability of the tagging process.

In advance of each new cycle, DFO will solicit the interest of companies, fishing organizations and Aboriginal groups wishing to apply to be considered by DFO as approved tag suppliers. Every three years, DFO will consider applications from potential new suppliers and review their ability to meet the criteria outlined in the Protocol as, submitted in a proposed Tagging Plan by applicants. Details on how to complete a Tagging Plan are included in the Protocol. 

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