The government of Taiwan Friday denied the Coast Guard authority to board two fishing trawlers involved in a high-seas undercover operation that federal officials called the largest in U.S. history.

"We got confirmation from the Coast Guard Pacific Area Command that permission (to board) was denied about noon today," said Lt. Eldo DeLong of the 13th District Coast Guard headquarters in Seattle. "Right now, it's a wait-and-see operation."Richard Boucher, a State Department spokesman in Washington, D.C., said the Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau and a leased refrigeration ship, Red Fin, would continue their pursuit of two Taiwanese fishing vessels near Midway Island while negotiations continue with the Taiwanese government.