(a) Unless exempted in paragraph (b), (c) or (d) of this section, a vessel is not eligible for a fishery endorsement under 46 U.S.C. 12108 if:
(1) It is greater than 165 feet in registered length;
(2) It is more than 750 gross registered tons (as measured pursuant to 46 U.S.C. Chapter 145) or 1900 gross registered tons (as measured pursuant to 46 U.S.C. Chapter 143); or
(3) It possesses a main propulsion engine or engines rated to produce a total of more than 3,000 shaft horsepower; such limitation shall not include auxiliary engines for hydraulic power, electrical generation, bow or stern thrusters, or similar purposes.
(b) A vessel that meets one or more of the conditions in paragraph (a) of this section may still be eligible for a fishery endorsement if:
(1) A certificate of documentation was issued for the vessel and endorsed with a fishery endorsement that was effective on September 25, 1997;
(2) The vessel is not placed under foreign registry after October 21, 1998; and,
(3) In the event of the invalidation of the fishery endorsement after October 21, 1998, application is made for a new fishery endorsement within 15 business days of the receipt of written notification from MARAD or the Coast Guard identifying the reason for such invalidation. The fishery endorsement of a Fishing Industry Vessel that meets the criteria of paragraph (a) of this section is not deemed to be invalid for purposes of complying with this paragraph (a)(3), if the vessel is purchased pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 31329 by a Mortgagee that is not eligible to own a vessel with a fishery endorsement, provided that the Mortgagee is eligible to hold a preferred mortgage on such vessel at the time of the purchase;
(c) A vessel that is prohibited from receiving a fishery endorsement under paragraph (a) of this section will be eligible if the owner of such vessel demonstrates to MARAD that the regional fishery management council of jurisdiction established under section 302(a)(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1852(a)(1)) has recommended after October 21, 1998, and the Secretary of Commerce has approved, conservation and management measures in accordance with the American Fisheries Act of 1998, Title II, Division C, Public Law 105-277, to allow such vessel to be used in fisheries under such council's authority.
(d) A vessel that meets one or more of the conditions in paragraph (a) of this section may still be eligible for a fishery endorsement if the vessel is engaged exclusively in the menhaden fishery in the geographic region governed by the South Atlantic Fisheries Council or the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Council.
(e) The owner of a vessel that meets any of the criteria in paragraph (a) of this section is required to submit a certification each year in conjunction with its Affidavit of U.S. Citizenship in order to document that the vessel is eligible for documentation with a fishery endorsement. The certification should indicate that the vessel meets the criteria of paragraph (a) of this section; however, it is eligible to be documented with a fishery endorsement because it complies with the requirements of either paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section. A sample form for the certification is available on the MARAD Web site at http://www.marad.dot.gov/afa.html or may be obtained by contacting the Citizenship Approval Officer.