Canadian Fishermen End Blockade

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PRINCE RUPERT, British Columbia: The blockade of an Alaskan ferry ended today after the Canadian government promised disgruntled fishermen in British Columbia that it would pressure the United States to reopen negotiations on Pacific salmon. As the 300-boat blockade broke apart, the ferry Malaspina departed the harbor with a blast of its horns, ending a siege which kept about 135 passengers captive since Saturday. The ferry had been held hostage by Canadian fishermen who claim U.S. fishing fleets are violating a 1985 treaty on salmon fishing by netting the choicest fish in the ocean as they swim to Canada. The bold move drew fire from the U.S. State Department and Alaskan fishermen, who claim they're not hogging the premier salmon, called sockeye, but are abiding by the fishing treaty by going after the more common and less valuable pink salmon. Local businesses weren't too happy with the stunt, either. They claim it will keep vacationers from the area, resulting in a loss of millions of dollars annually. But the fishermen continue to stand firm, claiming that shady U.S. fishing practices could hurt everyone if they continue. "It's fish piracy on the high seas," said Bob Rezansoff, president of the British Columbia Fishing Vessel Owners Association. "Four years down the road, even those Alaskans who are profiteering now are going to suffer because, buddy, there won't be any fish."