United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 30, 2022

§ 1870.
Required possession of descending devices
(a)
Require gear in the Gulf reef fish fishery

It shall be unlawful for a person on board a commercial or recreational vessel to fish for Gulf reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico Exclusive Economic Zone without possessing on board the vessel a venting tool or a descending device that is rigged and ready for use while fishing is occurring.

(b)
Savings clause

No provision of this section shall be interpreted to affect any program or activity carried out by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council established by the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (33 U.S.C. 1321 note), or any project contained in an approved Restoration Plan developed by any Natural Resources Damage Assessment Trustee Implementation Group to reduce post-release mortality from barotrauma in Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Recreational Fisheries.

(c)
Definitions
In this section:
(1)
Descending device
The term “descending device” means an instrument that—
(A)
will release fish at a depth sufficient for the fish to be able to recover from the effects of barotrauma;
(B)
is a weighted hook, lip clamp, or box that will hold the fish while it is lowered to depth, or another device determined to be appropriate by the Secretary; and
(C)
is capable of—
(i)
releasing the fish automatically;
(ii)
releasing the fish by actions of the operator of the device; or
(iii)
allowing the fish to escape on its own.
(2)
Venting tool

The term “venting tool” has the meaning given to it by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

(3)
Gulf reef fish

The term “Gulf reef fish” means any fish chosen by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council that is in the reef Fishery Management Plan for the purposes of this chapter.

(Pub. L. 94–265, title III, § 321, as added Pub. L. 116–340, § 3(a), Jan. 13, 2021, 134 Stat. 5128.)
cite as: 16 USC 1870