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Friday, 28 July, 2000, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Payout for cod wars victims
Cod box
Iceland and Britain were at loggerheads over cod
Dozens of Scottish fishermen who lost their livelihoods in the cod wars with Iceland are due to hear how much compensation they will receive.

UK Trade and Industry Secretary, Stephen Byers, is expected to announce a package for those who lost their jobs as a result of the row over Iceland's fishing limits in the 1970s.

About 60 families from the north-east of Scotland, who were affected by Britain's decision to agree a 200-mile fishing limit around Iceland, are in line for compensation.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, is understood to have agreed to the aid package, worth an estimated 16m, and each trawlerman is expected to receive around 5,000.

Stephen Byers
Stephen Byers: Compensation package agreed
The row erupted when Iceland decided to impose the limit to protect its highly-prized cod stocks.

The UK Government objected to the move and Royal Navy vessels were sent to protect distant-water vessels from action by Icelandic forces.

British ministers were eventually forced to accept a European Community ruling that the imposition of certain fishing limits was acceptable.

That ruling had huge implications for thousands of fishermen.

Trawler owners and some fishermen received compensation at the time but, because most trawlermen were officially recognised as being part-time or casual workers, they did not qualify for aid.

A further compensation package established in 1993 was also described as inadequate by many fishermen because it only offered payments to those who had worked continuously with the same company for two years or more.

However, a Department of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food inquiry report has now concluded that those trawlermen excluded from previous aid packages have firm grounds for compensation.

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