The Lobster War Between France and Brazil (1961-1963)

April 14, 2012


“le Brésil, ce n’est pas un pays serieux ” = ( Brazil is not a serious country “) ~ attributed to Charles de Gaulle Carlos, but actually uttered by Brazilian ambassador Alves de Souza Filho

The Lobster War (1961-1963), a pejorative term used by the press, was a dispute between the governments of Brazil and France.

The episode revolved around the illegal capture of lobsters , by French vessels fishing in the waters of the Northeastern coast of Brazil.

Both Brazil and France mobilized their military forces, although a shot was never fired.


The episode highlights how territorial disputes – say over the oil and fishing rights in the South China Sea – can escalate into saber rattling, and perhaps something larger when the stakes are higher.


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