What are the Cod Wars?

What are the Cod Wars?The three Icelandic Cod Wars that took place in 1958, 1973 and 1975 were precipitated by concerns on the part of Iceland that the stocks of cod fish were being seriously depleted by over-fishing. With timber, agriculture, fuel or mineral deposits being the few natural resources in Iceland, the country relies heavily on its stocks of cod fish and the Cod Wars have been vital in protecting this industry. In 1958, the first Icelandic Cod War took place after it extended its fishing limits from 4 miles to 12 miles off Iceland’s coast. In 1972, Iceland further extended its limits to a 50-mile radius which prompted a hostile response from other nations, not least Britain, and the second war took place. An agreement was reached in 1973, when Britain agreed to limit fishing for cod to designated areas within the 50-mile radius. What further instigated the third war, apart from the expiry of the agreement made at the end of the second war, was Iceland’s move to extend the radius to 200 miles.

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