Maine tribe claims right to fish in federal waters

Posted Sept. 02, 2010, at 8:57 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Members of Maine’s Passamaquoddy Tribe says they’ll continue fishing in federal waters even though the federal government has warned them not to.

Fred Moore, a commercial fisherman and member of the tribal council at Pleasant Point, tells the Portland Press Herald that no fishing treaty exists between his tribe and the state or federal governments. He says the Passamaquoddys have been forced to fish in federal waters out of economic necessity.

Last month, the Coast Guard cited the captain of a Passamaquoddy-owned fishing boat off Massachusetts for not having a federal permit.

Federal regulators say they are exploring the tribe’s claims, but that tribal members could face charges if they are caught fishing without the necessary permits.

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