Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Border Patrol Questions Canadian Fishing Fleet

Border Patrol Questions Canadian Fishing Fleet

The Border Patrol operations came to light this week, when fishermen from New Brunswick's Grand Manan Island told news organizations they had been stopped in Canadian waters by U.S. Border Patrol and questioned about illegal immigrants.

Drouin said his two sons were also recently stopped when they were fishing in the contentious area around Machias Seal Island, which is about 19 kilometres southwest of Grand Manan Island and east of Maine.

According to Canadian media reports, USA border officials have been questioning Canadian fishermen near the island about possible illegal immigration activities. "Our understanding is that this was a part of a regular exercise being conducted along the USA marine border". The island and surrounding waters are claimed by both the USA and Canada, though boats from both countries have fished the waters comfortably for years.

His revelations called into question complaints from Canadians that they are being targeted by American law enforcement in a marine "grey zone" that both countries claim as sovereign territory.

"There's been a bit of a misunderstanding there somewhere", Cook told the newspaper.

More news: England vs India 2018, 2nd T20I: Hits and misses

The group said it's working with the Canadian government to ensure their members can continue to use the fishery in a "normal manner", noting that they have previously enjoyed a "respectful and cordial" relationship with their American counterparts.

The Canadian flag flutters in the breeze by the lighthouse at Machias Seal Island. "I guess the comment on the street would be: 'Typical American bullies, '" said Stephen Kelly, a former American diplomat who served in Canada.

John Babcock, a Global Affairs Canada spokesman, said the government continues to investigate the incidents "in Canadian waters", partly by engaging with the American agencies involved.

Cook said that he heard from boat captains that the Border Patrol had searched at least two Canadian vessels in June.

"Canada's sovereignty over the Machias Seal Island and the surrounding waters is long standing and has a strong foundation in global law", spokesman John Babcock said in an emailed statement.

More news: Why Fred did not play at all in Brazil's World Cup campaign

A spokesman for New Brunswick fishermen, Laurence Cook, chairman of a local lobster advisory, told The Canadian Press he's never seen border patrol agents in the area, though the U.S. Coast Guard operates there routinely.

Kristan Porter, another Cutler lobsterman and president of the Maine Lobstermen's Association, said he hasn't been stopped by Border Patrol yet, but most of the 25 or 30 lobstermen in town have.

Concerns about illegal immigration at the border between the U.S. and Mexico should not be applied to the Canada-U.S. border, he added. "The last thing Canada wants is for Donald Trump to seize on this as an example of US sovereignty being challenged". The dispute is over the ocean encircling it and the lobster lurking beneath the waves.

"Obviously, we are concerned when Canadian fishers are intercepted by American authorities when they are practicing fishing activity that has existed positively and co-operatively with the Americans for a very long time", he reportedly said.

"I'm sure from the border patrol's perspective, that's not at all what they were doing", he said, citing the American claim on the area that dates back to the late 1700s. "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.

More news: New Tropical Depression Forms in Deep Atlantic

Like this: