Science

United States border officials question Canadian fishermen in disputed waters

United States border officials question Canadian fishermen in disputed waters

Maine Marine Patrol specialist Mark Murry, left, and officer Jason Leavitt patrol the waters near the Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine, May 7, 2015.

"Additionally Border Patrol does not board Canadian Vessels in the Grey Zone without consent or probable cause and only conduct interviews as a vessel runs parallel to it, bow to stern", they said.

In a Facebook post on June 25, Cook said Border Patrol stopped a fisherman in the area, who told them he was a Canadian legally fishing in Canadian waters.

"Our understanding is that this was part of a regular exercise being conducted along the USA marine border", it said, adding that it will work with the Canadian government "to ensure that our fishermen will be able to continue their fishery in a normal manner".

Doucet said Wednesday that the "heavily armed" Border Patrol agents were looking for undocumented immigrants, but that the fishermen were just "doing their job". 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.

U.S. Border Patrol has ramped up enforcement along Maine's maritime border with Canada, in an operation that alarmed Canadian fishermen and surprised Americans.

"The movement of humanity is coming the other way, from the United States into Canada". After Donald Trump's administration imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, Canada - the world's biggest consumer of American steel - launched retaliatory tariffs, plunging the longstanding allies into a trade war. He also called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "very dishonest and weak" after a dispute at the G7 meeting in Quebec last month.




"Canada's sovereignty over the Machias Seal Island and the surrounding waters is longstanding and has a strong foundation in worldwide law", he said in a statement. "Canada and the USA have a long history of cooperation which ensures that fishing in this area in well-managed and safe for both countries".

The U.S. Border Patrol also said that it has stopped and boarded 21 Canadian vessels this year in contested waters in the Bay of Fundy, and has no objective to stop. They declined to specify how many of these were fishing vessels.

Lawrence Herman, a former Canadian diplomat who now practices global trade law, has been warning that a trade war between the USA and Canada could have devastating consequences for both countries.

The statement noted that agents based in ME have "conducted operations in the past in this area and will continue to conduct operations in the waters off the coast of ME in jurisdictional waters of the United States". "As far as I'm concerned, it needs to stop immediately".

He pointed to the ongoing territorial dispute to explain why the issue had made headlines, with initial media reports suggesting that U.S. law enforcement had intercepted Canadian vessels in Canadian waters.

"I don't think you can draw a line between some of the concerns Americans have expressed for other border crossings with a fishing zone that has existed in the Bay of Fundy that has existed positively and collaboratively for a long time", he said.

John Drouin, a lobsterman from Cutler and chairman of the Lobster Zone A Council, said Border Patrol has been cruising along the Down East coast from Cutler to Jonesport. "And I think it's something Canadian officials should be anxious about".