The U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) says it has stopped 21 Canadian vessels this year in contested waters in the Bay of Fundy, and has no intention of stopping.
Border agents are operating in a rich lobster fishing area known as the Gray Zone that is claimed by both US and Canadian governments.
The area in question is around Machias Seal Island, an 8-hectare (20-acre) rock island at the Maine-New Brunswick border.
The ships were intercepted while fishing around the Machias Seal Island, an area between the Gulf of ME and the Bay of Fundy that has been disputed between the two North American neighbors for centuries.
Spokesman John Babcock said the Canadian government is also talking with USA agencies, though he did not provide details about the fishermen's allegations or Ottawa's response.
A USA customs spokesperson said the operation, which is being conducted by the agency's Houlton, Maine, office, is part of a routine enforcement effort and such inspections have been made in the past.
Canadian fishing boats harassed by U.S. Border Patrol, officials from Canada just reported.
She said the agency did not have statistics on how many US vessels have been stopped in ME this year and the last five years and would not say how many vessels and personnel were involved in offshore Border Patrol operations or where precisely agents are patrolling.
According to Cook, the Canadian fishing captain, Nick Brown, informed the US vessel that "he was a Canadian vessel legally fishing in Canadian waters".
The Grey Zone consists of about 700 square kilometres of lucrative lobster waters surrounding Machias Seal Island, and has been claimed by both Canada and the US for decades. Any vessel operator that does not slow down and stop when ordered by Border Patrol agents can be criminally charged, Malin said. It's not known how many of those were fishing vessels.
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According to Cohen, those seeking to cross the Canada-U.S. border illegally are usually pushing north.
Trudeau has also been critical of the White House's hardline "zero tolerance" immigration policies and the consequent result of family separations at the border, saying that it's "not the way we do things in Canada".
The group said it's working with the Canadian government to ensure their members can continue to use the fishery in a "normal manner", noting that they have previously enjoyed a "respectful and cordial" relationship with their American counterparts.
"Additionally Border Patrol does not board Canadian Vessels in the Grey Zone without consent or probable cause and only conduct interviews as a vessel runs parallel to it, bow to stern", they said.
As Canada's presence increased in the area, Drouin said, so did Canadian fishing patrol boats, watching Americans operate their lobster traps.
Machias Seal Island is seen on June 24, 2016.
Indeed, it's not for nothing the area is called the grey zone - gray zone to the Americans.
With America putting its focus on strengthing the borders, Canada and Machias Seal Island are now being monitored. But once they are in the same waters, it becomes almost impossible to determine at a glance whether the fishing boats are Canadian or American.
"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. As well, the group suggested the actions of the USA agents may have been routine.