Scotland’s Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has insisted that the tiny island of Rockall belongs to Scotland after a survey revealed high resolution images of the seabed.
The outcrop lies 187 miles west of St Kilda and ownership has been the subject of dispute for decades with Iceland, Ireland and Denmark each staking a claim.
The United Nations has committed to examine the competing claims under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Mr Lochhead said Scotland has “reaffirmed” its possession of Rockall after a survey revealed details of the surrounding seabed and reefs.
The SNP Minister said: “The far flung islet of Rockall, out in the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean, forms Scotland’s most westerly point and is more than 180 miles from the nearest landmass in the Western Isles.
“Over the decades this enigmatic rock has been the subject of international disputes over ownership, a magnet for adventurers and even a location for pirate radio broadcasters.
“It’s fantastic that Scotland has reaffirmed our possession of Rockall through this survey, which enabled a new high definition map to be developed, uncovered amazing underwater features, as well as studies of the marine life found around Rockall and Helen’s Reef.”
The survey was a result of collaboration between Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage and was carried out this summer.