• Short Summary

    Fears that its vital cod stocks will be exhausted by overfishing have prompted Iceland to declare a new 200 nautical mile fishing limit.

  • Description

    Fears that its vital cod stocks will be exhausted by overfishing have prompted Iceland to declare a new 200 nautical mile fishing limit.

    Determination to enforce this limit with armed patrol boats has led to fears of another "cod war" between Iceland and Britain.

    In the midst of the new declaration, Iceland has accused Britain of being blind towards the grave danger to Iceland's fish stocks and has said it must preserve its seriously-reduced fish population.

    The livelihood of many Icelanders depends on the fishing industry and scientists have warned Iceland that cod stocks are seriously threatened by over-fishing.

    If Iceland's fishing industry suffers, it is reasonable to assume that the entire country will suffer since fish accounts for 85% of its exports.

    The dependence on fish is great because the country has hardly any other natural resources.

    About ninety percent of Iceland's consumer goods are imported. Other than fishing, its only significant industry is the new aluminium works just outside Reykjavik. This industry allows the country to export aluminium ingots, but even the raw materials for this come from Australia.

    Because of this the Icelandic Government finds itself forced to regard fish as the only "currency" with which it could pay for imports.

    The country is also suffering from rate of inflation that is fluctuating between thirty and fifty percent. Its financial reserves were depleted by the beginning of this year and the balance of payments deficit is so large that it cannot be patched up this year by borrowing.

    Since last year, real incomes have been cut by more than fifteen percent.

    At its peak, Iceland's living standard was about equal to that of Denmark, one of Europe's richest countries.

    It is well below that now and the costs of consumer items are rising at alarming rates. At the moment, a jar of instant coffee, for example, costs more than three times what it would cost in the United Kingdom.

    It is even costing the government more to make money than the money is worth in some instances. The prize example is the one krona coin which costs three krona to mint.

    A modest house in Iceland is more than three times the price of a similar house in Britain.

    These are some of the reasons why Iceland has moved to protect its fishing industry.

    As one housewife puts it..."too many fisherman, too little fish."
    SYNOPSIS: This is Reykjavik, capital of Iceland and northernmost capital in the world. It is the hub of the country's fishing industry, an industry that accounts for almost 85 percent of Iceland's exports. If this industry suffers, the whole of Iceland suffers with it, since there are hardly any other natural resources on which the country can lean.

    Apart from the importance of exports, many Icelanders make their livelihood from fishing and its related industries. But scientists have warned the government that fish stocks, particularly cod, are seriously being threatened by over-fishing.

    Like countries everywhere, Iceland too is hit by inflation. But its rate is higher than any other European country. Fish itself is costly on the supermarket shelves. Its price is more in line with those of imported consumer goods, some of which cost more than three times what they would normally cost in the United Kingdom. And more than 90 percent of all consumer goods are imported.

    Iceland's rate of inflation is fluctuating between 30 and 50 percent. Its financial reserves are depleted and its balance of payments deficit is so large that it cannot be patched up this year even by borrowing. Since last autumn, the krona has dropped through two devaluations. In one year, real incomes have been cut by more than 15 percent. At its peak, Iceland's living standard was about equal to that of Denmark, one of the richest countries in Europe.

    In this situation, Icelanders continue to take their trawlers out to sea day and night for their vital fish catches. They claim that allowing foreign fishermen to enter their new 200-mile limit will not only deplete the supply faster, but will also amount to dipping into their own pockets since they have the capacity themselves to take the total allowable catch.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAC951L9ATS6YSALKIWOQ5JLA9R
    Media URN:
    VLVAC951L9ATS6YSALKIWOQ5JLA9R
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    28/11/1975
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:08:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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