Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Research | By Wilma Wheeler

The U.S. Refuses To Stop Invading Canadian Waters

The U.S. Refuses To Stop Invading Canadian Waters

The Canadian government said Thursday it is investigating a series of encounters in which USA border patrols have approached Canadian fishing vessels in a disputed island area off the East Coast.

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.

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.

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.

Lawrence Book, chair of the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association, said the agents were looking for migrants without the required documentation to enter the United States.

But this summer that camaraderie has been threatened, Canadian fishermen claim, as officers with the U.S. Border Patrol have started to wade into the area, pull up aside their vessels and ask about their citizenship.

The association declined to comment on the matter. "Canada's sovereignty over the Machias Seal Island and the surrounding waters is longstanding and has a strong foundation in worldwide law", said a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada.

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

The U.S. State Department did not respond to questions about U.S. territorial claims on Machais Seal Island and the Gray Zone. "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.

"If the Canadians want to use the term harass, they have been harassing us for years", Drouin said.

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

Ties between Canada and the United States have been strained since Trump slapped tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium, citing USA national security.

Don't miss out on the latest news and information. US law allows such immigration enforcement actions to be conducted anywhere within 100 miles of the border.

The flare-up - amid recently heightened tensions between the United States and Canadian government over trade - revolves around the last, unresolved land-border dispute between the two longtime North American allies.

Machias Seal Island lies between a grey area in the Canadian and American border which the U.S. has recently begun monitoring more closely.

"Until the matter of the boundary is resolved, we will continue to take practical steps with the ensure that the area is well‎ managed", she said.

A Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman told the BBC that US Border Patrol was "conducting regular patrol operation to enforce immigration laws and other violations of federal law that they may encounter in the course of their duties" during June.

"Is this overkill? Absolutely". In 2007, according to the National Post, an American fisherman had his thumb torn off when his equipment became tangled during a dispute with a Canadian competitor.

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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