50 CFR PART 622 FISHERIES
UNDER AMENDMENT 27 GULF OF MEXICO REQUIRES THE USE OF DEHOOKING DEVICES AND VENTING TOOLS IN REEF FISH FISHERIES(EEZ) EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE.
EO 12866 SAYS IN PART:
AT LEAST ONE DEHOOKING DEVICE IS REQUIRED AND MUST BE USED TO REMOVE HOOKS EMBEDDED IN GULF REEF FISH WITH MINIMUM DAMAGE. THE DEHOOKING END MUST BE BLUNT AND ALL EDGES ROUNDED. THE DEHOOKING DEVICE MUST BE CONSTRUCTED TO ALLOW THE HOOK TO BE SECURED AND THE BARB SHIELDED WITHOUT RE-ENGAGING DURING REMOVAL PROCESS. THE DEVICE MUST BE OF A SIZE APPROPRIATE TO SECURE THE RANGE OF HOOK SIZES AND STYLES USED IN THE GULF REEF FISHERY.
"...(3) Venting tool. At least one venting tool is required and must be used to deflate the swim bladders of Gulf reef fish to release the fish with minimum damage. This tool must be a sharpened, hollow instrument, such as a hypodermic syringe with the plunger removed, or a 16-gauge needle fixed to a hollow wooden dowel. A tool such as a knife or an ice-pick may not be used. The venting tool must be inserted into the fish at a 45-degree angle approximately 1 to 2 inches (2.54 to 5.08 cm) from the base of the pectoral fin. The tool must be inserted just deep enough to release the gases, so that the fish may be released with minimum damage. ..."