U.S. backs Canadian seizure of fishing boat

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The State Department said Tuesday that Canadian border officers were within their rights when they seized an American fisherman's boat and fined him $1,000 for fishing in Canadian waters without registering at customs.

In a statement, the State Department said the Canada Border Services Agency was acting within “long-standing regulations” by penalizing Roy M. Anderson, who was snagged by Canadian officers while fishing, unanchored, in the Gananoque Narrows, according to the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times.

All foreign boaters must report to Canadian authorities upon arrival in Canadian waters, whether they anchor their boats or not, the State Department said, echoing the Canadian government's position.

The only exception, according to the State Department, is for boaters traveling through Canadian waters from one U.S. point to another and without stopping along the way.

The State Department's backing of the Canadians' approach came as New York U.S. Rep. William L. Owens challenged the Canadian agency’s interpretation of the law and after New York officials asked the agency to refund Anderson his money.

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