Canadian Fishing Boats Harassed By US Border Patrol, Officials Reported

Machias Seal Island

Machias Seal Island is seen

He said Canada considers its sovereignty over the area to be "longstanding" and grounded in global law. Any vessel operator that does not slow down and stop when ordered by Border Patrol agents can be criminally charged, Malin said. "They're trying to get out of the US and into Canada to claim asylum". "As far as I'm concerned, it needs to stop immediately", Doucet told the Post.

LeBlanc said concerns about illegal immigration at the border between the U.S. and Mexico should not be applied to the Canada-U.S. border.

Machias Seal Island is seen on June 24, 2016.

American patrol boats would view the area as sovereign USA waters where "they could stop any boats that gave them concern", said Kelly, once the deputy head of mission at his country's embassy in Ottawa.

A spokesman for Global Affairs Canada has said it is contacting US agencies about the encounters, but that the federal government considers its sovereignty over the area to be "long-standing" and grounded in worldwide law.

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A spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the USBP, said agents from Houlton, Maine, have "interviewed" 21 vessels as part of routine enforcement efforts.

A second incident occurred on June 25 also near Machias Seal Island, John Babcock, a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada said on Wednesday, after the Canadian Foreign Ministry launched an inquiry.

On July 4th, the Grand Manan Fisherman's Association released a statement about the issue on social media, saying that the waters are Canadian and that the organization is working with the government to make sure the fishermen can continue business as normal.

Only about 100,000 of the United States' 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants were from Canada, according to the Pew Research Center in 2014.

"There's been a bit of a misunderstanding there somewhere", Cook said Wednesday, the Star reported. "That's created more tension in the area over the last decade".

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A U.S. customs spokesperson said the operation, which is being conducted by the agency's Houlton, Maine, office, is part of a routine enforcement effort and such inspections have been made in the past.

The US border patrol has been accused of "bullying" Canadian fishing vessels in the seas near ME amid tensions between the countries over US President Donald Trump's trade tariffs. "It wasn't just in the gray zone".

With America putting its focus on strengthing the borders, Canada and Machias Seal Island are now being monitored. The dispute is over the ocean encircling it and the lobster lurking beneath the waves. An American lobsterman had his thumb ripped off in 2007 while disentangling equipment during a clash with a Canadian. "Absolutely overkill", Doucet told the Post. Researchers from the university and Canadian Wildlife Services come to study the Atlantic Puffin, which heavily inhabits Machias Seal Island.

Machias Seal Island is between New Brunswick and ME and has been the subject of a territorial dispute between Canada and the US for decades.

Drouin, a member of Maine's lobster advisory council, said he witnessed three other vessels that were also stopped and questioned, and has seen several Border Patrol vessels in the area over the last month.

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He has argued that Canada and the USA should submit the disagreement to arbitration at the world court.

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