Rockall factfile: Scotland's most remote outpost at cente of fishing grounds claims

Rockall is an uninhabitable granite islet situated in the North Atlantic.

It measures 25m by 31m across and stands just 17m above sea level.

It gives its title to one of the sea areas named in the shipping forecast provided by the British Meteorological Office.

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The jagged outcrop was claimed by the UK as its territory in 1955 and made part of Scotland in 1972.

Neighbouring nations Ireland, Iceland and Denmark, which governs the Faroe Islands, dispute the UK’s sovereignty.

The closest islands in each direction are Scotland’s Soay, in St Kilda, which is 187 miles away; Ireland’s Tory Island, 263 miles away; and Iceland, 430 miles away.

The nearest permanently inhabited place is North Uist, in the Outer Hebrides, which lies 230 miles to the east.

Rockall lies within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the UK but does not generate its own economic area. The UK has signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which says that “rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf”. However, such features are entitled to a territorial sea extending out to 12 nautical miles.

The far-flung rock has been a point of interest for adventurers and amateur radio operators, who have variously landed on or briefly occupied Rockall. Fewer than 20 people are known to have set foot on the jaggy outpost, with the longest continuous stay by an individual stretching to 45 days.

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