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Friday, 26 October, 2001, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
'Cod war' cash for more crews
Cod box
Many fishing families in the UK were affected
More than 1,000 trawlermen who lost their jobs because of the 1970s cod wars are now to receive compensation, the UK Government has announced.

A number of fishermen in Aberdeen have already benefited from a payment scheme announced last year, but there had been pressure to widen the scope of the payouts.

An amendment to compensation rules means that workers who fished after 31 December 1979 on former Icelandic trawlers now qualify for payouts.

Patricia Hewitt
Patricia Hewitt: "Trawlermen suffered injustice"

Trawlermen will receive a share of an additional 10m compensation package.

The fight for compensation for Scottish fishermen caught up in the Icelandic cod wars has been going on for decades after many saw their livelihoods destroyed in the settlement of the dispute.

Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt said those fishermen suffered an injustice and received little help at the time.

A compensation fund was initially launched last year, but there were complaints about who was eligible to apply for help.

That scheme has already paid out more than 20m, with 37 fishermen in Aberdeen benefiting.

'Suffered injustice'

Now an additional 10m is being made available to help some of those previously disqualified from getting financial help.

Mrs Hewitt said: "Former trawlermen who lost their livelihoods due to the cod wars settlements suffered an injustice.

"They received little or no help at the time. It is only right that they should be compensated."

MPs had last year urged Mrs Hewitt to speed up compensation for fishermen whose livelihoods were destroyed in the 1970s.

Prized stocks

Many fishing families in the north east of Scotland were affected by Britain's decision to agree a 200-mile fishing limit in Iceland.

The Icelandic authorities had decided to impose the limit to protect its highly prized cod stocks.

At the time the UK Government objected and Royal Navy ships were sent to protect vessels from action by Icelandic forces.

Some skippers have died and their widows have continued the fight for compensation payments to be made.

Payments have so far been made to workers in Aberdeen, Hull, Grimsby, Fleetwood, Blackpool, Cleethorpes, Newcastle and West Yorkshire.

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Colin Wight reports
"Campaigners have welcomed the news"
See also:

18 Jul 01 | Scotland
MPs call for 'cod war' payout
28 Jul 00 | Scotland
Payout for cod wars victims
20 Jul 00 | UK
Has cod had its chips?
20 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
Fish and chips under threat
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