Wednesday 17 July 2019

Now Iceland sails into row over ownership of Rockall's waters

Stone of contention: Rockall
Stone of contention: Rockall
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Iceland has now waded into the row regarding ownership of waters surrounding Rockall.

The Nordic country has stated an interest in the tiny piece of land at the centre of a diplomatic row between Ireland and Scotland.

Though the rock is located 370km north-west of Donegal and around 390km west of Scotland, Iceland is intervening regarding ownership.

Scotland has threatened to take action and detain trawlers that it says are fishing illegally around Rockall.

This threat has escalated the dispute that has rumbled on for decades.

A spokesman for the Iceland Ministry of Foreign Affairs told RTÉ News "the Hatton-Rockall area is part of the Icelandic continental shelf".

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "Icelandic fishing vessels periodically catch blue whiting from common stocks near Rockall.

"However, no Icelandic vessels are in the area at this time of year.

"As communicated to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, in relation to claims made by the government of the United Kingdom, Government of Ireland and government of the Kingdom of Denmark, together with the government of the Faroes, the Hatton-Rockall area is part of the Icelandic continental shelf but is subject to overlapping claims by these three states.

"The Hatton-Rockall area is therefore in dispute."

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Hatton Rockall and the rock of Rockall are "two separate and unrelated issues".

Irish Independent

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