It seems that the United Kingdom may be casting its eyes from the North Sea into the near Atlantic in search of oil and minerals to exploit if this story from today’s NATIONAL newspaper is anything to by:
There is of course just one problem with this and that is that the territorial sea around Rockall (claimed by the United Kingdom) is also the subject of claims by several other States including Iceland, Denmark (Faroe Islands) and Ireland (links):
However leaving aside any territorial impediments there is also some other goods reasons not to go stirring too much up on the seabed around Rockall.
The area as we have reported previously was used extensively for sea dumping of all manner of nasties including chemical weapons. The map here – just pan in on the UK area and click on the icons and you will get details of some of the material dumped. No less that 12 sites are indentified stretching from West of the Hebrides to North of Donegal.
Now it must also be stressed that this is not either an accurate or finite list because record keeping was not what it should be and also sailing semi-derelict ships into the Atlantic to scuttle them at a predetermined location sometimes went by the board when bad weather intervened.
Nor did the use of the near Atlantic as ‘a dustbin’ end for the UK once it had rid itself of chemical and explosives munitions the Scots Independent (1995) reported nuclear waste was also disposed of there (quote):
“Dumping Nukes off Rockall ?
Rockall Island lies approximately 200 miles from Skye. It rises 20 metres above the sea-line and consists entirely of granite. A navigation beacon was installed on the island in 1972 several years after Britain had annexed this remote uninhabitable tip of a sunken mini-continent. Rockall Island sits on the Rockall Bank. Between the Bank and the Outer Hebrides and the West Coast of Ireland lies the Rockall Trough more than 9000 feet deep. When the Beaufort’s Dyke furore started up there was reference to the dumping of nuclear waste “that Britain intended to dump far out in the Atlantic Ocean”.
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority accelerated a programme of dumping at sea in the ’50s and ’60s and until as recently as 1982. High-grade waste was going into the Rockall Trough. Even bits of nuclear submarines ended up there.”
If those Aberdeen University boffins go poking around in the water around Rockall we hope they realise there may be something nasty lurking there!
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The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries including our own Mannin branch. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues
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