US Border Agents Question Canadian Fishing Crews About Immigrants In Disputed Waters

09 July, 2018, 07:49 | Author: Kristi Owen
  • Machias Seal Island is roughly 19 kilometres southwest of Grand Manan and 16 kilometres from the coast of Maine

Ties between Canada and the United States have been strained since Trump slapped tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium, citing U.S. national security. As a result, the area has long hosted lobster fisherman from both sides of the border.

"Is this overkill? Absolutely". Machias Seal Island, a small low-lying island with a lighthouse manned and maintained by the Canadian government, lies about 12 miles southwest of the Canadian island of Grand Manan and 12 miles southeast of the ME village of Cutler. "It's quite disturbing when you have fishermen on the water, doing their job, providing for their families ... and they're being harassed", he said. "Canada relationship." Since then, Canada has fired back with tariffs of its own on US goods from steel and iron to ketchup and dish soap. "As far as I'm concerned, it needs to stop immediately". The US and Canada have a long history of co-operation in the area on managing issues like fishing, though tensions have occasionally flared over the lobster-rich waters. "Why wait until it becomes something uglier?"

Chris Mills, a former lightkeeper in the Canadian coast guard, said he never saw a Border Patrol boat or a US military vessel pass by when he worked at the Machias Seal Island Lighthouse in 1991 and 1992. The group said it's their understanding that the recent stops are part of a "regular exercise being conducted along the USA marine border", and said it looked forward to continuing a "respectful and cordial relationship" with its US counterparts.

"There's been a bit of a misunderstanding there somewhere", said Laurence Cook, the chairman of the advisory board for the lobster fishing area.

"We don't want this to be a great global incident, but it's kind of curious", said Laurence Cook, the chairman of the lobster committee at the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association in New Brunswick. They declined to specify how many of these were fishing vessels. "Proud of Nick not surprised to see the Americans trying to push people around".

The alleged incident happened on 24 June near Machias Seal Island. He was stopped two weeks ago in Cutler Harbor and asked for his identification, and his son has been stopped and boarded about six miles offshore, Drouin said.

John Drouin of Cutler, Maine, said Friday that he was out about two weeks ago when us patrol agents came alongside his boat in the so-called Grey Zone to him to ask where he was from and to see his paperwork.


Brown could not be reached for comment.

A statement from the association released Wednesday said the waters have been fished by both USA and Canadian crews for years.

The Canadian Foreign Ministry said it had launched an inquiry into the incident off Machias Seal Island, which Canada insists is its territory.

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

Those types of agreements were brokered long before President Donald Trump took office, but Gilbert said that due to his administration's aggressive border-security policies (not to mention the ongoing trade war between Canada and the US), Canadians are beginning to regret giving the US so much authority.

Indeed, it's not for nothing the area is called the grey zone - gray zone to the Americans.

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