On September 1, 1958, the United Kingdom and Iceland began a long series of conflicts over fishing rights in the North Atlantic Ocean. Iceland expanded its territorial waters, while Britain claimed its traditional fishing spots off the Icelandic coast. Both the United Kingdom and Iceland maintained lucrative cod fisheries, so the conflicts were nicknamed the “Cod Wars.”
 
Although the Cod Wars had only one fatality (an Icelandic engineer), the conflict involved many incidents of violence between fishing trawlers and warships. British military vessels rammed Icelandic fishing ships, while the Icelandic Coast Guard routinely cut the nets of British trawlers.
 
The Cod Wars continued, off and on, for nearly 30 years. In 1976, the United Kingdom recognized Iceland’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), extending 370 kilometers (200 nautical miles) beyond its coast. Today, the EEZs of all nations extend to this perimeter.
claim
Verb

to demand as a right.

Noun

edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

coast guard
Noun

branch of a nation's armed forces that is responsible for coastal defense and protection of life and property at sea.

conflict
Noun

a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

engineer
Noun

person who plans the building of things, such as structures (construction engineer) or substances (chemical engineer).

exclusive economic zone (EEZ)
Noun

zone extending 200 nautical miles off a country's coast. A country has the right to explore and exploit the living and nonliving things in its EEZ.

expand
Verb

to grow or get larger.

extend
Verb

to enlarge or continue.

fatality
Noun

a death.

fish
Verb

to catch or harvest fish.

fishery
Noun

industry or occupation of harvesting fish, either in the wild or through aquaculture.

incident
Noun

event or happening.

lucrative
Adjective

profitable or money-making.

maintain
Verb

to continue, keep up, or support.

military
Noun

armed forces.

perimeter
Noun

outline or border.

recognize
Verb

to identify or acknowledge.

routinely
Adverb

regularly or scheduled.

territorial
Adjective

very protective of a specific area, especially defending it against intruders.

traditional
Adjective

historic or established by custom.

trawl
Verb

to fish by dragging a large net along the bottom of the body of water.

vessel
Noun

craft for traveling on water, usually larger than a rowboat or skiff.

violence
Noun

acts that cause physical harm to another person.

warship
Noun

seagoing vessel built for armed conflict.