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The First Flag of Convenience

June 14, 2012

Though I wasn’t a fan of Hannesson’s The Privatization of the Oceans, I did find one nice little anecdote on the first flag of convenience:

A book by Thomas Wemyss Fulton, lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, published in 1911 argued forcefully that the 3-mile limit gave insufficient protection to fish stocks. The book cited cases where English or Scottish fisheries regulations had pertained over areas further out than 3 miles and had in fact been applied to domestic fishermen while foreign fishing vessels could fish up to 3 miles, because of the emphasis Britain put on the 3-mile limit internationally. This gave rise to the possibly first incident of fishing under a flag of convenience; in the early 1900s, trawlers from Hull [England] fished in the Moray Firth in Scotland with impunity under the Norwegian flag, avoiding a Scottish ban on trawling in the firth. [p. 26]

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