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July 18, 2018

Fishermen peeved about Border Patrol checks in 'Gray Zone'

U.S. Border Patrol operations is causing consternation among Canadian vessels fishing in waters around Machias Seal Island, an area claimed by both the United States and Canada.

Stephanie Malin, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Protection, told The Quoddy Tides that 21 Canadian vessels fishing in the Gray Zone, around Machias Seal Island, have been stopped and some boarded on regular patrol operations over the past month.

The Gray Zone area is claimed by both the U.S. and Canada.

But Laurence Cook, chair of the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association's Lobster Sector, told the newspaper, "This is the first routine patrol in 25 years, so I'd say it's not too routine."

John Drouin of Cutler, chairman of the Lobster Zone A Council, told the newspaper that American fishermen are also being stopped.

CBC News reported the Canadian boats stopped by Border Patrol were fishing in the Gray Zone.

Emma Bond, a Maine ACLU staff attorney, told CBC the agency's actions were "invasive."

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