Environmental groups say that the waters around the tiny island of Rockall far out in the north Atlantic should be left for wildlife. The area should be “off limits” for exploitation so that its strange species and features can be investigated, they say.
The Scottish government announced yesterday that four species new to science had been found in the sea between 80 and 260 miles west of the Hebrides. They include a 10-centimetre sea snail, two kinds of clam and a worm.
Scientists from Marine Scotland are very excited by the finds, which they describe as “incredibly unusual”. The worm was discovered inside one of the clams, while it was being studied in a laboratory, and is said to be the first found in the entire Atlantic.
Finding the clams and worm at a single site is described as “potentially hugely significant”. This is because their presence could indicate the presence of a “cold seep”, a phenomenon in which hydrocarbons leak into the water from a fissure in the seabed.