Film ID:
YFA 1461



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This film was taken during the Iceland Cod Wars in the 1970s and documents the conditions and work out at sea on a British trawler. The Cod Wars were a series of confrontations in the 1950s and 1970s between the UK and Iceland concerning the fishing rights and territorial waters in the North Atlantic.

The film opens out at sea with two fishermen on a trawler ship cutting and separating a batch of newly caught fish. Another fishing ship can be seen in the distance. As the film continues, it becomes clear that the Icelandic waters are full of trawlers as well as British and Icelandic naval vessels. Icebergs or glaciers can also be seen on brief occasions. The air is full of seagulls which fly around near the ships. The HMS Andromeda (F57) can be seen with some of its crew members visible on deck.

On one of the British trawlers, the fishermen pull in a net full of cod. The men begin to gut the fish and pile them on a different part of the ship. They manage to catch a considerable amount of fish with each netting. Some of the other crew members can also be seen.

Two men on a small motorboat arrive at the side of the British trawler. The briefly board the boat before heading back to their own vessel. There is a brief shot of a helicopter in the sky before a coastline comes into view. Some of the ships are near the trawler when the sun sets on that fishing day. Later on the ships come closer to the harbour, and small houses can are dotted along the coastline.

Additional Information: In 1972, Iceland unilaterally declared an Exclusive Economic Zone extending beyond its territorial waters, before announcing plans to reduce overfishing. It policed its quota system with the coast guard, leading to a series of net-cutting incidents with British trawlers that fished the areas. As a result, a fleet of Royal Naval warships and tug-boats were employed to act as a deterrent against any future harassment of British fishing crews by the Icelandic craft.
In 1976, a compromise between the two nations allowed a maximum of 24 British trawlers access to the disputed 200 nautical mile limit which officially became recognized internationally on 14 November 1994, after having been agreed at the conference on the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.