U.S. fisherman says Canadians not alone in being stopped by border patrol agents

An American fisherman says he too has been questioned by U.S. Border Patrol officials much like his Canadian counterparts who reported being stopped in the same disputed waters off Maine and Machias Seal Island.

John Drouin of Cutler, Maine, says he was out in his boat about two weeks ago when border patrol agents stopped him to ask where he was from and to see his identification.

The veteran fisherman says he's rarely seen patrol boats in the area over four decades of fishing the rich lobster grounds, something Canadian fishermen also said was a new and unusual phenomenon.

A Canadian fishermen's group says that in the past two weeks, at least 10 fishing boats from New Brunswick have been intercepted by U.S. patrol agents while fishing around Machias Seal Island.

Laurence Cook of the advisory board for Lobster Fishing Area 38 said some Canadian vessels were boarded by American agents who asked about possible illegal immigrants.

A spokesman for Global Affairs Canada says it is contacting U.S. agencies about the encounters, but that the federal government considers its sovereignty over the area to be ``long-standing'' and grounded in international law.