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12 miles – “Cod War” 1958-61

Cod Wars – 12 Miles Fishing Limit – 1958-61

1957
April 12th. A conference was held in Reykjavik to decide on actions.

1958
May 24th the Minister of Fisheries, Ludvik Josepsson, announced the government’s decision to extend the fishing limits to 12 miles.

June 30th the minister signed a regulation concerning the 12 miles’ zone.

September 1st the regulation took effect. British trawlers continued fishing inside the new limit under the protection of British battleships.

On September 2nd crewmembers of the coast guard vessel “Thor” were apprehended doing there duty on board a British trawler Northern Foam and taken to the British frigate “Eastbourne”. A large crowd of people protested in front of the British Embassy in Reykjavik.

On September 4th a crowded meeting was held on the Laekjartorg Square in Reykjavik to protest the British despotism and strengthen the solidarity of the nation in the battle for its rights. China moved its territorial waters from 3 miles to 12.

On September 5th, the captain of the British battleship “HMS Russel” accused the captain of the coast guard vessel “Aegir” of having tried to ram his vessel.

On September 13th the frigate “Eastbourne” sailed into the Faxi Bay in the wee hours of the morning to release the apprehended crewmembers on an open boat two miles from shore.

November 12th “Thor” encountered opposition when trying to apprehend the British trawler “Hackness”. The captain of “HMS Russel” threatened to sink the coast guard vessel.

1959
February 6th the “Thor” managed to bring the British trawler “Valafell” to harbour after having attempted the feat for four days. A British battleship interfered until the trawler was taken within the 4 miles limit. The ship owners were sentenced to pay a fine of Ikr. 74,000,oo and the fishing gear and catch were confiscated. The Icelandic people were surprised at the lenient treatment.

1960
March 3rd the British trawlers displayed encroachment by trawling across the nets of smaller fishing vessels from Olafsvik, causing considerable damages.

March 14th British trawlers moved outside the 12 miles to lubricate the proceedings of the International Conference of the Ocean in Geneva, Switzerland.

March 26th the conference was concluded without any solutions and the British sent their trawlers and battleships back inside the limit.

April 30th the government of Iceland pardoned the captains, who had been registered for their offences from the 1st of September 1958 to the 29th of April 1960.

1961
March 11th the “Cod War” was concluded with an agreement with the British. They acknowledged the 12 miles zone and were permitted to continue fishing up to the 6 miles’ limit for the next three years.

50 miles -“Cod War” 1972-73