The Herring and History

S.M. Toyne investigates how, from earliest times, the migration of the herring has exercised an important influence on the history of the peoples living around the North Sea and the Baltic.

This year has seen the close of a dispute that originated some four hundred years ago. The International Court at The Hague has ruled that the territorial waters off the coast of Norway shall be defined by a three-mile limit, measured from promontory to promontory, instead of bending with each indentation of the coast. This means that foreign vessels will be deprived of fishing grounds they have long frequented, though not without lawsuits and many violent quarrels. For the pursuit of fish, and of the herring in particular, century after century has been a cause of international strife.

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