American border patrol agents stopping and boarding Canadian vessels: spokesman

Ignacio Smith
July 9, 2018

The Canadian government is investigating reports that US Border Patrol vessels have been stopping and boarding Canadian fishing boats in disputed waters to inquire about unauthorized immigrants - a move that stoked outrage among local fishermen who say the US is pushing Canadians around.

Cook said he's never before seen border patrol agents in the area, where the U.S. Coast Guard typically patrols.

The incidents were thought to have occurred in the Gulf of ME on June 24 and 25 in the disputed waters around Machias Seal Island and North Rock, according to Global Affairs Canada, the report said.

Spokesman John Babcock said the Canadian government is also talking with USA agencies, though he did not provide details about the fishermen's allegations or Ottawa's response. "Our understanding is that this was part of a regular exercise being conducted along the US marine border", said the association in a statement.

In a Facebook post, the Association's Chair said the USA officials claimed they were "looking for illegal immigrants" and that border officials have stopped at least ten fishing boats in the past two weeks.

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Customs and Border Protection told Business Insider in a statement that its agents have stopped and interviewed 21 Canadian vessels since last October in those waters, which the agency called "jurisdictional waters of the United States".

"They're in global waters, so border patrol shouldn't be boarding Canadian vessels", he said.

"Canada's sovereignty over the Machias Seal Island and the surrounding waters is long-standing and has a strong foundation in global law", Babcock said in an email to CBC News.

To get to the gray zone, fishermen in the United States depart from a port like Cutler, and those in Canada take off from Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick. Any vessel operator that does not slow down and stop when ordered by Border Patrol agents can be criminally charged, Malin said.

According to Cook, the Canadian fishing captain, Nick Brown, informed the USA vessel that "he was a Canadian vessel legally fishing in Canadian waters". "Canada relationship." Since then, Canada has fired back with tariffs of its own on USA goods from steel and iron to ketchup and dish soap.

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A long determined neutral zone between Canadian and American fishermen has become the latest display of the rising tensions between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Visitors head to Machias Seal Island on in June 2016.

As tensions rise between the United States and Canada, there is a new clash in the cool waters off the northeast tip of ME, which are rich with lobster, scallops and cod.

A former American diplomat to Canada says the episodes late last month underscore the need for the two countries to settle their quarrel over the so-called "grey zone" surrounding the island before it erupts into violence. "Canadian fishermen are being harassed by U.S. Border Patrol. The last thing Canada wants is for Donald Trump to seize on this as an example of USA sovereignty being challenged".

Machias Seal Island is roughly 19 kilometres southwest of Grand Manan Island and 16 kilometres from the coast of Maine. He added that transporting undocumented immigrants on the fishing boats is "possible" but that the Gulf of ME is not typically a path for migrants. As well, the group suggested the actions of the USA agents may have been routine.

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