With recreational landings increasing and the possibility that the population is declining, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries has announced a bag limit of ten vermilion snapper within the 20-fish aggregate reef fish bag limit, according to a press release from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

The final rule will go into effect on September 3.

Additionally, the rule requiring the use of venting tools when fishing for reef fish has been eliminated. 

Scientific studies have questioned the usefulness of venting tools in preventing barotrauma in fish, especially those caught in deeper waters. And improper venting may actually cause damage to fish with increased handling times, the release states.

Barotrauma is damage caused by a quick change in pressure when fish are brought to the surface.

The council also increased the Gulf of Mexico yellowtail snapper catch limit from 725,000 pounds to 901,125 pounds after a recent assessment determined the population is healthy.