Fisheries Jurisdiction Case UK v Iceland Merits

1948 the Parliament of Iceland passed a law establishing fisheries conservation zones. 1951 Iceland proclaimed 12-mile exclusive fishing zone 1961 by exchange of notes, UK & Iceland agreed that UK would no longer object the 12-mile fishery zone and that each party could refer a dispute concerning Iceland’s extension of its fishing zone to the ICJ. 1970 Iceland claimed 50-mile fishery zone. UK vessels had been fishing in Iceland waters for centuries, and they were also concern with the fisheries conservation [1977 UK claimed its own 200-mile exclusive fishing zone]

The 1958 y 1960 Conventions of Law of the Sea. From the consensus of the second one two concepts have crystallized in CIL: 1. Fisheries zone of 12-mile. [now changed] 2. Preferential fishing rights of coastal state in a situation of special dependence on its fisheries. (Reasonable regard to the interest of other states. Art 2, 1958 convention) In the present case the 12-mile is not in dispute. The notion of preferential rights in situation of special dependence such as Iceland, do not imply the extinction of concurrent rights of other states. The extension from 12 to 50-mile was not opposable to UK since it disregard the established rights of that State and the 1961 Exchange of Notes. That does not mean that UK has no obligation to Iceland in the zone between 12 and 50-mile with respect to fishing.