Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Ert Gum


During the period 1948-1975, the Icelandic government enacted six laws to control fishing in its coastal waters. The first statute authorized the Minister of Fisheries to act by decree, and declared that Iceland would gain control over its entire continental shelf fisheries. With the other five laws, either the Althing (Parliament) or the Minister extended Icelandic fisheries jurisdiction to distances of four, twelve, fifty, and two hundred miles. The nation acted with near impunity due to international turmoil over the precise definition of coastal limits where a state might exercise its maritime police powers. Many governments protested to Iceland over the extensions, but only the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany defied the declarations, and Germany only on the 50- and 200-mile claims. Although these quarrels with Germany were serious, even resulting in one man's death, Iceland's disputes with Britain were much worse.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of History and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Gregory J. Scholten May, 1991

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