TORONTO (Reuters) - Crew members of two Canadian fishing vessels were approached by the United States border patrol in Canadian waters in the Gulf of Maine in late June, according to the Canadian government, which is investigating the matter.
“Canada continues to investigate these incidents that occurred in Canadian waters, including through engaging with U.S. agencies involved in the matter,” John Babcock, a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada said on Wednesday.
Babcock said the incidents occurred on June 24 and June 25 near Machias Seal Island.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. embassy in Ottawa were not available for comment due to the Independence Day holiday in the United States.
The CBC News reported the U.S. officials questioned the fishermen, who are members of the Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association. The association’s chair wrote on Facebook the U.S. agents claimed to be “looking for illegal immigrants.”
The association declined to comment on the matter.
“Canada’s sovereignty over the Machias Seal Island and the surrounding waters is long standing and has a strong foundation in international law,” Babcock said.
Reporting by Danya Hajjaji; Editing by Chris Reese