Marking, Tagging & Reporting Program
Summary of the MTRP Rule
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has amended 50 CFR Part
18, to establish marking, tagging and reporting regulations as authorized
under Section 109(i) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act(act) of 1972
as amended. This action implements a 1981 amendment to the Act and will
assist the Service in: 1) monitoring the subsistence and handicraft
harvest of polar bears, sea otters and walrus; 2)obtaining essential
biological data needed to manage these species or stocks; and 3)helping
to control the illegal take, trade, and transport of specified raw marine
The final rule was published in the Federal Register on
June 28, 1988. After an implementation period of 120 days, the new rule
became mandatory, and on October 28, 1988, the Marking, Tagging and
Reporting Program became effective. During this period, local Natives
(as often as possible) were hired and trained, and the necessary kits
and supplies were purchased and distributed to the local tagging employees.
Tagging kits are provided by the Service and training is conducted by
the coordinator of the program or his representative. The taggers affix
a dated, numbered, color-coded, locking plastic tag to the hide and
skulls of polar bears and sea otters presented for tagging. Walrus ivory
is removed from the nose plate, and a plastic headed wire tag is attached
through a small hole drilled in the root area of the tusk.
The reporting forms provided with the tagging kit are used to record
information regarding species, tag number, measurements, sex, approximate
age, and location and date of kill or find. In the case of walrus, the
type of take is also recorded. Each polar bear and sea otter has a tooth
removed to be examined for age.
Failure to comply with the rule by the Native hunter or possessor of
the specified parts, registered agents, and tanneries could result in
seizure of the parts and/or penalties of up to $10,000 for each infraction.
Information obtained from the program is published for public review
in the Service's Region 7 Annual Report.
Last updated: November 3, 2011