RSPB Worries About Rathlin Island
Following from our article about the RSPB’s worries over oil licenses being granted in the North Sea – and the negative effect that could have on the region’s sea birds and wildlife – Rathlin Island off the coast of Northern Ireland has been identified as one of the places most likely to suffer. The island is home to thousands of breeding puffins, razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes while the lobsters and crabs found in the waters off the island's coast are vital to the local pot fishing industry.
The RSPB Seabird Centre attracts almost 20,000 visitors per year and provides employment on the island. Claire Ferry, Senior Conservation Officer at RSPB in Northern Ireland, said: "We are extremely concerned. This process results in exploration licences allowing companies to go out looking for oil and gas. If they are successful, it is very likely to lead to full scale drilling and exploitation."