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CANADIAN FISHING FLEET FREES ALASKAN FERRY HELD IN PROTEST

To some Canadian fishermen, the end of a blockade of an Alaska ferry is just the beginning of a fight for a fair haul of the Pacific salmon roaming between Alaska and Canada.

A wall of fishing boats that had ringed the ferry Malaspina at its Prince Rupert dock for two days -- holding up hundreds of passengers -- broke up late Monday.

The British Columbia fishermen moved off after being assured their federal government would try to settle a dispute over the salmon netted by oceangoing U.S. boats as the fish swim to spawning streams inside Canada.

With three long blasts of its horn, the Malaspina pulled away with 135 passengers and quickly vanished in dense fog. It was bound for Ketchikan, Alaska.

The ferry was surrounded Saturday morning, and as many as 300 vessels joined in at the height of the protest, which was ordered disbanded by a court injunction won by Alaska attorneys.

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