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19 Apr

Decending Device Requirement Regulations Unknown To Many Anglers

February 26, 2021

Many anglers do not realize that any recreational angler, commercial fisherman or charter boat is now required to carry a “Decending Device” on all vessels that are fishing for both Snapper and Grouper in the South Atlantic Region. The regulation went into effect on July 15, 2020 and allows offshore fishing of the Carolina Coast.  However many anglers are unaware of the law and have found themselves facing significant fines. Below is information the regulations and how you can comply.

NOAA’s Announcement 

NOAA Fisheries announces the final rule for Regulatory Amendment 29 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 29). This final rule modifies gear requirements for the fishery and encourages best fishing practices.

Descending Device Requirements:

  • A descending device is required to be on board and readily available for use on commercial, for-hire, and private recreational vessels while fishing for or possessing snapper-grouper species;
  • What’s a descending device:
  • Descending device means an instrument to which is attached a minimum of 16 ounces of weight and a minimum of 60 feet of line.
  • The descending device attaches to the fish’s mouth or is a container that will hold the fish.  The device MUST be capable of releasing the fish automatically, by the actions of the operator of the device, or by allowing the fish to escape on its own.
  • Since minimizing surface time is critical to increasing survival, descending devices shall be readily available for use while engaged in fishing.

How a Decending Device Works 

Information Courtesy of:  South Atlantic Marine Fishery Council

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