Descending Device and Venting Tool for the Direct Enhancement of Snapper Conservation and the Economy through Novel Devices Act of 2020 (DESCEND Act)
The DESCEND Act was signed on January 13, 2021, by President Trump and became effective on January 13, 2022. It added a new section 321 to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which requires commercial and recreational fishermen to possess a venting tool or descending device that is rigged and ready for use when fishing for reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico Exclusive Economic Zone. The DESCEND Act defines both venting tools and descending devices. This action clarifies the statutory definitions for these devices.
Where can I find more information on descending devices and venting tools?
- There are a variety of articles and videos readily available online discussing descending devices and venting tools.
- NOAA Fisheries has a webpage on catch and release best practices at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/resources-fishing/catch-and-release-best-practices.
- The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has a web page titled “Fishing for Our Future in the Eastern Gulf” that provides written materials and videos at https://gulfcouncil.org/eastern-gulf-barotrauma/.
- Florida Sea Grant has a web page titled “Catch and Release Fishing” at https://www.flseagrant.org/fisheries/catch-and-release-fishing/descending-and-venting/.
- The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council developed a best fishing practices tutorial, available at https://safmc.net/bestpracticestutorial/story_html5.html.
- The Return ‘Em Right program is a resource for anglers interested in best release practices at https://returnemright.org/.