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

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Canada's government is looking into reports US border patrol agents are stopping and searching Canadian boats off the coast of ME, looking for immigrants.

Drouin said his two sons were also recently stopped when they were fishing in the contentious area around Machias Seal Island, which is about 19 kilometres southwest of Grand Manan Island and east of Maine.

The Grand Manan Fishermen's Association issued a statement Wednesday in New Brunswick that said "a few Grand Manan fishermen were approached by the United States Border Services during the month of June".

"We have enjoyed a respectful and cordial relationship with our USA counterparts". The agency's authority extends to the borders of the USA, including the area around Machias Seal Island claimed by the US and Canada, she added.

Roughly 700 square kilometers of water surrounding the island is known as the grey zone.

Cohen said he doesn't know who is being targeted by the U.S. Border Patrol when it pulls up along a Canadian fishing boat.

"There's been a bit of a misunderstanding there somewhere", Cook said Wednesday, the Star reported.

The association said it has enjoyed a respectful and cordial relationship with its US counterparts.

Machias Seal Island is seen on June 24, 2016.

"Typical American bullies ... not surprised to see the Americans trying to push people around", Cook wrote.

The waters that surround the island, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, in the Gulf of ME are also disputed.

Elizabeth Read, a Global Affairs spokeswoman, said that "Canada's sovereignty over the Machias Seal Island and the surrounding waters is long-standing and has a strong foundation in worldwide law". "They're in global waters, so border patrol shouldn't be boarding Canadian vessels".

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.

"He informed them he was a Canadian vessel legally fishing in Canadian waters".

US Customs and Border Protection and the US embassy in Ottawa were not available for comment because of the Independence Day holiday in the US.

Global Affairs confirmed that Canada is looking into "these incidents that occurred in Canadian waters, including through engaging with United States agencies involved in the matter". "The last thing Canada wants is for Donald Trump to seize on this as an example of USA sovereignty being challenged", Kelly explained. "It wasn't just in the gray zone".

Tiny Machias Seal Island itself is no geopolitical trophy, though it is a unique home to scores of puffins.

For hundreds of years, lobstermen in the United States have sailed the chilly waters off New England during the summer, lowering and raising traps along the ocean floor. CBC added that the U.S. agency said it was not looking into any possible fishing or boating violations, which is the responsibility of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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

"I'm sure from the border patrol's perspective, that's not at all what they were doing", he said, citing the American claim on the area that dates back to the late 1700s.

According to Cohen, those seeking to cross the Canada-U.S. border illegally are usually pushing north.