Iceland bank collapse: The history of the Cod War - financial crisis

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Competition between the economies of Britain and Iceland led to diplomatic clashes, shots being fired and ships being holed during the three "Cod Wars" of the 20th century.

Iceland's repeated expansion of its fishing grounds and its aggressive means of protecting its territory led to Royal Navy warships being deployed and the intervention of Nato, while the loss of the final war cost more than 1,000 British trawlermen and thousands more onshore their jobs.

The roots of the dispute stretch back to the Victorian era, when Iceland's then rulers, the Danes, set up an exclusion zone in the icy waters around the island to protect the fish stocks that were vital for its income and food supplies.

But the first Cod War began in earnest 50 years ago, in September 1958, when the Icelandic fishery grounds were enlarged from 4 nautical miles away from shore to 12.

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