(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.
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 Act.
Delayed Effective Date and Termination of Section
For delayed effective date of section and for termination of section five years after Jan. 13, 2021, see Effective and Termination Dates notes below.
References in Text
The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012, referred to in subsec. (b), is subtitle F (§1601 et seq.) of Pub. L. 112–141, div. A, title I, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 588, which is set out as a note under section 1321 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.
This Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(3), is Pub. L. 116–340, Jan. 13, 2021, 134 Stat. 5128, known as the Direct Enhancement of Snapper Conservation and the Economy through Novel Devices Act of 2020 and also known as the DESCEND Act of 2020. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 2021 Amendment note set out under section 1801 of this title and Tables.
Effective and Termination Dates
Pub. L. 116–340, §3(e), Jan. 13, 2021, 134 Stat. 5129, provided in part that the termination of this section by section 3(e)(3) is effective five years after Jan. 13, 2021.