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THE BEHRING SEA FISHERIES DISPUTE

♦ The footi of the seizure by, and sabseqaent escape from, a United States erulier of a Canadian sealing vessel In Behrlng's Bee have been given by cable. The mall news supplies the following detalli : — Farther trouble between Amerlot md Oanada has arisen throngb the aefzore by an American revenue «rnlse? of some Canadian sealing vessels In Bebrlng'd Sea. From the account given by the Alaska Commercial Company it appears that 25 British sealing veisels assembled off Oanga Island with a steam tender, to which were transferred nearly 4000 sklna taken mostly m the Pacific Ocean, but some within a marine letgae of the coast. The skins were transferred to the tender ao that the schooner might be able to pass the American Customs Inspection. The revenue colter Bneh appeared on the scene, and her commander, Captain Shepherd, declared that he would eelz3 the vessels whloh bad broken the law. The British jiehooneri declared that thry would retarn to Viotorla, but Instead of doing «o, they went dlreot to Behrlng's fie*. The Bnsh followed, overtaking the Black Dlamotd 70 miles from land. The sohooner was ordered to heaveto, and, upon refaaal, the Btuh ran out her Bom: Captain Shepherd then boarded the Black Diamond, and aiked for tbeshlp's pipers. The officer refused to give them op, whereupon Captain Shepherd broke Into the cabin, forced the hinges off the captain's chest, and scoured the papers. A search disclosed that the skins had been proenrsd m Behrlng'a Sea. Captain Shepherd ordered the Blaok Diamond to proceed to Sitka under a noncommissioned offioar, and await orders. The captain of the Black Diamond has stated In Vlotorla that he had been inttructed not to surrender to the Bash, and would not have done ao but for her superior force. Captain Shepherd also boarded another British sealer, the Triumph, but released her, one account says because ftht skins had been lawfully taken, and another because theskina were overlooked, being hidded under salt. When last seen the Bush was In dose pursuit of other easier*, some of whloh were sufficiently armed to make considerable resistance. The Canadians are greatly exoited over this se'zare. The presji are speaking very strongly on the aubjeot. The New York press, too, with one exception, condemn the action of the Government on the ground that America has no claim to exolusl? e jurisdiction over Behrlng'a Sea. The " Tribune" defends the seizures, alleging that the law exists, and the President is bound to execute It. It la stated that the case of the Triumph will possibly prove even more important than that of the Black Diamond, as involving the questions of tbe right of searoh on high aeas where nothing Is found to justify it. Aeoojding ta the "Standard " the Alaska ComtneroiW Company are at the bottom of all these disputes. The company are sot content wltfc b lucrative monopoly of the Frybllot Islana?; but have extended their operations so' »S to embrace the whole shore of Alaska. l'u£ company are Indignant at any attempt to Interfere with their monopoly, for wbioh they pay a yearly rental 0f, £12,000. In addition to 8s fot every akin shipped, though on the other hand they are said to earn £70,000 annually from the nlanda of St Paul and 8t George alone. The United States are claiming a 300 mile limit m Behrlng's Sea, while they insist on a three mile limit In Nova Scotia ; consequently have the •ympathy of only a vory small seotlon of iae American people.

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THE BEHRING SEA FISHERIES DISPUTE Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2225, 13 September 1889

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