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Old 28-07-2011, 09:37   #1
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International Border Incident

Canadian border officials fuel fishing flap on St. Lawrence

The gist of the story is that US citizens in a US boat (not anchored) were arrested while fishing 400 m inside Canadian waters for not informing Canadian Border Service that they had entered Canadian waters. They had a valid Ontario fishing licence and fishing was not the issue.

I’ve always understood that you can sail through the other country’s waters without informing any agency, provided you did not anchor.

So what is going on here?
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Old 28-07-2011, 09:41   #2
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Re: International border incident

Not true. While there is a certain leniency in these matters, 400 miles is pretty flagrant.
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Old 28-07-2011, 09:43   #3
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Re: International border incident

400 Meters or Miles?


Quote:
he was fishing less than 400 metres inside of Canadian waters
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Old 28-07-2011, 09:47   #4
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Re: International border incident

400 meters, according to the article linked to in the OP
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Old 28-07-2011, 09:48   #5
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Re: International border incident

Mea Culpa. I should have read the article or even the title closer (can't be 400 miles in and still on water)

This does seem extreme and it would seem the young fellow got caught in some political thing.
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Old 28-07-2011, 10:45   #6
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Re: International border incident

Most nations do recognize the right of free passage through their waters, but fishing or other activities other than just transiting through their territory is a different matter.

Even with the license he should have cleared in or follow accepted procedure for the situation.
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Old 28-07-2011, 10:54   #7
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Re: International border incident

I think that skipmac has it right; this was not innocent passage.
The rules have changed folks. If I enter and travel through (do not "land") US waters on Lake Ontario I am required to clear Canadian customs on return to Canada. Even if I cut the corner on passage from my home port in Whitby enroute to Niagara on the Lake, I am supposed to check in with Canadian Border Services.

There is probably more to tht OP's article.
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Old 28-07-2011, 11:21   #8
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Re: International Border Incident

Historically the great lakes were a hotbed of smuggling during prohibition. Right now there is a loooooong list of items that you cannot import or export from US to Canada, (or that require tarrifs or duties). Aside fromthe obvious contraband, or weapons of any type , the list contains a variety of household items including maple syrup, and the now legal Canadian whiskey.

After 911 the US imposed a variety of new restrictions to border crossings , and customs, and fees, and added a long list of regulations to even crossings of "friendly" countries. After diplomatic protests from these countries were ignored, many of them, (including Canada), retaliated on US citizens entering their country as a means of protest.

In short if you are entering the sovereign waters of another country, (the US claims 200miles), follow all procedures of entry including check in and any customs, (fishing is considered an economic activity), and yes, fish is on the list.
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Old 28-07-2011, 11:31   #9
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Re: International Border Incident

This makes me think of the people who get pulled over for speeding then complain about getting a speeding ticket. Just another American with entitlement issues thinking they can just do whatever they want. On another note, do we know the facts? I do know if I don't want to get a speeding ticket I go the speeding limit.
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Old 28-07-2011, 12:18   #10
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Re: International Border Incident

while a crappy situation that i would hate to find myself in, it does introduce some interesting discussion points.

1. while in international waters, do we need a 'palm greasing' kitty
2. what should be on our departure check list (call the bank / credit card company and alert them to international travel to prevent charges being declined due to suspicion of fraud)
3. what is the current international climate and (forget the law) what is the best practice for avoiding incident en route
4. how does this enhanced border control affect the (god i hate bringing it up) idea of personal protection (i.e guns / bear spray (or wasp spray :P) etc)

before i read the article and found out the fine was paid with a credit card, i figured this was just some greedy cop shaking down another sucker.

-steve
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Old 28-07-2011, 12:22   #11
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Re: International Border Incident

Hmm too bad. if it was a Canadian doing the same thing he would probably have been arrested! the US has set the rules and restrictions and it now costs money for us to cross the lakes so maybe a little TIT for Tat. In the same vein though off topic Why does it cost $35.00 US to transit the two American locks on the Seaway and only $25.00 CDN to Transit the canadian Locks? Surly service US Mostly friendly Canadian all this could have an impact on how your treated.
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Old 28-07-2011, 12:27   #12
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Re: International Border Incident

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssanzone View Post
while a crappy situation that i would hate to find myself in, it does introduce some interesting discussion points.

1. while in international waters, do we need a 'palm greasing' kitty

Depends on where you are cruising. For example, Bahamas, no. But an out of the way country with little experience with cruising boats and a bad attitude, maybe yes.

2. what should be on our departure check list (call the bank / credit card company and alert them to international travel to prevent charges being declined due to suspicion of fraud)

If you have not previously used that card overseas definitely yes. I had a new credit card with me on a business trip to Europe and the card company called my wife at home the first time I tried to use it.

3. what is the current international climate and (forget the law) what is the best practice for avoiding incident en route

Like question #1 above, depends on where you are. You might read noonsite.com for comments on specific countries and recent reports from cruisers that have been there.

4. how does this enhanced border control affect the (god i hate bringing it up) idea of personal protection (i.e guns / bear spray (or wasp spray :P) etc)

Not going to touch this question with a 10' boat hook.

before i read the article and found out the fine was paid with a credit card, i figured this was just some greedy cop shaking down another sucker.

-steve
So where is your intended cruising ground?
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Old 28-07-2011, 12:43   #13
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Re: International Border Incident

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So where is your intended cruising ground?
**shrugs

every weekend morning (about 9:07 am) i want to toss a dart at a map...

my comment was more about how we (i) may need to adjust the way we think about and plan for cruising.
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Old 28-07-2011, 12:59   #14
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Re: International Border Incident

One of things I've learned about the Canadian/US border is you can expect the application of rules to vary everywhere you go.
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Old 28-07-2011, 13:01   #15
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Re: International Border Incident

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Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
One of things I've learned about the Canadian/US border is you can expect the application of rules to vary everywhere you go.
Isn't that the truth! Indeed, you could say the same thing about the entirety of North America.
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