Sunday, August 25, 2013

COD WAR - 50 MILES FISHING LIMIT 1972-73 - Unilateral Decision by Iceland

The Icelandic position was similar in all three conflicts. The major point was that Iceland depends on its fishing industry more than any other state in the world. Iceland has few natural resources, no timber, no fuel, little agricultural potential, and no mineral deposits. Its economy is uniquely dependent on fishing for survival and for exports, to fund the imports needed for the other parts of the economy. "Fish and fish products of one form or another...have on average accounted for 89.71 per cent of Iceland's total export in each year during the period 1881-1976." Iceland argued, therefore, that it had an overwhelming need to ensure the survival of the fish stocks in its area. Iceland became convinced that it had to act unilaterally. Due to the failure of the international arena regarding the Icelandic herring, Iceland acted on its own to protect the cod.
On February 15th 1972 the Parliament of Iceland passed a bill to extend the fishing limits to 50 miles.
August 17th The International Tribunal in The Hague pronounced that the Icelanders did not have sovereignty over the areas between 12 and 50 miles.  The Icelandic government protested and decided to take no notice of this decree.
September 1st the regulation on the extension of the fishing limit took effect.  British ship owners asked in vain for battleship protection.  Three West German tow vessels were sent to Iceland to prevent the apprehension of German trawlers within the limit.
September 5th the secret weapon of the coast guard, the trawl clippers, created havoc, when the trawler “Peter Scott” was relieved of its fishing gear.  The crew threw coal, iron bolts and a fire axe at the coast guard vessel “Aegir”.  Altogether 82 trawls were cut during the dispute.
Thank you Maria for this interesting FDC.

No comments:

Post a Comment