Requesting Tags and Data Policy

The Cooperative Marine Turtle Tagging Program (CMTTP) is a centralized tagging program developed to distribute tags, manage tagging data, and facilitate exchange of tag information. The CMTTP is managed by the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research (ACCSTR) at the University of Florida and is funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center (NMFS/SEFSC).


CMTTP tags (Inconel style 681) have a University of Florida address and an offer of a reward for tag return information. The message reads:


How to Obtain CMTTP Tags and Applicators

  1. To obtain tags (Inconel style 681), please submit
    • a completed CMTTP Tag Request Form
    • a brief proposal (see #3 below)
    • copies of all necessary State and Federal permits for projects in USA
  2. We can only distribute tags to those individuals who have signed the Tag Request Form and agree to comply with the procedures and policies of the CMTTP. The signature will also affirm that the project leader agrees that no CMTTP tags will be used without all necessary State and Federal permits.
  3. Describe your tagging project in a brief proposal. The proposal will not be evaluated by the ACCSTR; State and Federal permitting agencies have the responsibility for judging whether tagging is an appropriate activity for a project. Rather the proposal is required for documenting the activities supported by the CMTTP. The proposal should include:
    • Species to be tagged
    • Geographic location and habitat (e.g., nesting beach, in-water)
    • Project duration (start and end dates) and objectives
    • Justification for tagging
    • Methods
  4. CMTTP tags are intended for projects conducted in the Atlantic region.
  5. CMTTP tags should not be redistributed.

Submission of Data to CMTTP

All individuals receiving CMTTP tags must submit an annual report as an electronic database to the ACCSTR that gives the data for each turtle tagged. Electronic data must be submitted in a format that can be readily incorporated into the master database (see letter from National Marine Fisheries Service). Please see CMTTP Data Submission for instructions.

Data Policy

Ownership of Data

The “owner” of the data for a tagged turtle, i.e., the individual with rights to publication of release and subsequent recapture data, is the investigator who placed the original tag on the turtle. In the event of a recapture, the ACCSTR will report recapture data to the “owner,” and individual tag release data will be forwarded to the individual who reported the tagged turtle.

Archive/Exchange of Information

The ACCSTR will archive all information obtained from marine turtle tagging programs. This archive includes tag data from all projects using CMTTP tags. The “owner” is requested to specify allowable uses of the tag data entrusted to the CMTTP (see Tag Request Form). NMFS and the ACCSTR will continue to receive tag recaptures for years after many projects are completed and investigators have moved on to other work. Therefore, the determination of allowable use of future recaptures and publication of results is important to prevent losing tag data valuable to sea turtle population studies.

Presentations and Publications

Tag data cannot be used for presentation or publication without the consent of the “owner.” Investigators are encouraged to produce peer-reviewed publications; NMFS (Marine Turtle Program, 75 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, Florida 33149) and the ACCSTR request that researchers provide copies of reports/publications within three months of publication. NMFS reserves the right to access the CMTTP database for sea turtle management purposes. ACCSTR reserves the right to access the CMTTP database for database management only. Under no circumstances does NMFS, ACCSTR, or an investigator have the authority to present or publish data maintained by the CMTTP without written consent from all data “owners” involved. All requests for data access should be sent to ACCSTR who will then determine the “owners” from whom written permission will be required.