Canada is investigating U.S. Border Patrol's maritime immigration checks

A spokesman for New Brunswick fishermen based on Grand Manan Island says at least 10 Canadian fishing boats have been intercepted by U.S. Border Patrol agents since last week while fishing in the disputed wate

Canada is investigating U.S. Border Patrol's maritime immigration checks

-Canada border on June 3, 2013 in Buffalo, New York.

According to the local fisherman's association, both American and Canadian fleets have fished the 277-square-mile overlap "for years" - even if the relationship between individual lobstermen is said to be "strained".

Fishermen are enraged by the incidents and the Canadian government has said it's investigating.

The US border patrol has been accused of "bullying" Canadian fishing vessels in the seas near ME amid tensions between the countries over US President Donald Trump's trade tariffs.

The Canadian Government is now investigating two separate occasions where USA agents entered Canadian waters off the coast of New Brunswick around the island and North Rock.

Like previously stated the island is in a grey area of the border but both Canadian and American fishermen work around the island.

To get to the grey zone, fishermen in the United States depart from a port like Cutler, and those in Canada take off from Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick.

Canadian fishermen say two vessels were approached and their crews questioned by border agents, in Canada's legal waters, late last month around Machias Seal Island and North Rock. "Proud of Nick not surprised to see the Americans trying to push people around". "Pure bullshit, to be illegal they would have to be in sovereign waters and they know it".

Malin noted that Houlton Sector Border Patrol, which patrols the entire state of ME, will continue to conduct operations in the USA waters off the state's coast.

"Canada continues to investigate these incidents that occurred in Canadian waters, including through engaging with USA agencies involved in the matter", John Babcock, a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada said on Wednesday.

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With America putting its focus on strengthing the borders, Canada and Machias Seal Island are now being monitored.

Machias Seal Island is seen on June 24, 2016.

The U.S. Border Patrol, which is part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, declined to comment and referred all inquiries to the U.S. State Department, which did not respond to a request for an interview.

CBP added that it doesn't board Canadian boats - instead, it "only conducts interviews as a vessel runs parallel to it, bow to stern".

Spokesman John Babcock said the Canadian government is also talking with US agencies, though he did not provide details about the fishermen's allegations or Ottawa's response.

According to a statement from the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association obtained by CBC News, the association said it believed the situation was part of a "regular exercise being conducted along the us marine border".

"The US Border Patrol does not patrol for fisheries violations or boating violations which are enforced by the US Coast Guard. As far as I'm concerned, it needs to stop immediately", Doucet told the Post. "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. Between Trump and Trudeau launching tariff's and new border rules, tensions have been on the rise between our two countries.

The Trump administration has enacted strict policies on illegal immigration in the United States, including a "zero tolerance policy" of criminally prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally.

"A lot of people are a lot more anxious about U.S. power on Canadian soil or in Canadian waterways", she said.

Tensions between Canada and the U.S. are now high over trade issues related to American tariffs on steel and aluminium and retaliatory Canadian levies; disputes over dairy, lumber, and wine; and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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