American border patrol agents stopping and boarding Canadian vessels - spokesman

‘Typical American bullies’: US border patrol ‘targets Canadian fishermen’ in disputed waters amid trade war

‘Typical American bullies’: US border patrol ‘targets Canadian fishermen’ in disputed waters amid trade war

The waters near the island are referred to as the "gray zone" because both Canada and the USA claim the island.

The dispute has fueled tension between American and Canadian fishermen over the years, as the waters around the island are especially important lobstering grounds.

Mr Cook said the agents told him they were looking for illegal immigrants.

Laurence Cook, chairman of the fishermen's association, wrote on Facebook that the fisherman, Nick Brown, informed US Border Patrol Agents he was in a Canadian vessel legally fishing in Canadian waters.

- Crew members of two Canadian fishing vessels were approached by the United States border patrol in Canadian waters in the Gulf of ME in late June, according to the Canadian government, which is investigating the matter. The island is located in the lower Bay of Fundy, approximately 15 kilometres west of Grand Manan Island.

US Customs and Border Protection described the island area as a "Grey Zone" on Thursday, while Canadian authorities said Canada's title to the area is clear.

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.

Drouin said the area has been "inundated" with Canadian lobster fishermen since 2002.

After the two leaders met at the G-7 Summit in Canada in early June, Trump took to Twitter to call Trudeau "very dishonest" and "weak".

He has also bolstered border security in the northern frontier with Canada, and the American Civil Liberties Union said US police had been setting up more checkpoints on roads leading to the Canadian border to check people's citizenship.

Global Affairs Canada told reporters it is investigating "incidents that occurred in Canadian waters".

"Canada's sovereignty over the Machias Seal Island and the surrounding waters is long-standing and has a strong foundation in worldwide law", Babcock said.

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment. The spokesperson confirmed that the agents are enforcing "immigration laws and other violations of federal law". So far, 21 Canadian vessels have been interviewed by local agents in the 2018 fiscal year, she said, with zero immigration arrests made.

"There is no illegal immigration going on there", he said.

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

Machias Seal Island is seen on June 24, 2016. "(But) for whatever reason, they now have a presence". It constructed a lighthouse there long ago. The agents did not board his boat. The manager, Melanie Sonnenberg, said the association has fishermen who were approached for the past two weeks, but the association was not told of the exercise prior to those encounters. "They ask what your citizenship is and ask for your name and stuff".

Even so, Drouin said that a Canadian Coast Guard ship appeared in the zone in recent days, an apparent response to the USA actions.

"The movement of humanity is coming the other way, from the United States into Canada".

There is a tiny island located on the coast of the Canadian province New Brunswick and American state ME that adding to the dispute. 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.

"We are in a different time and Border Patrol is patrolling..." "If we had a single boundary line and weren't intermingling, it would be a lot simpler", he said.

Fishermen from ME and New Brunswick - and sometimes Nova Scotia - have generally competed peacefully for the resource, but tensions do flare.

That changed in 2002. Fishing boats from each nation operate off its shores in a legal gray zone.

The region is well-known for its lobster, as well as for herring and scallops. Now, about 50 Canadians and 50 Americans fish the area together.

The agents claimed to be looking for undocumented immigrants, he said. Planes began flying overhead, taking pictures of American boats.

But Drouin said the bigger issue is Canadian use of the zone. "They fly over the top of all the boats in the area, sometimes fairly close, sometimes within 50 feet".

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