To begin with, I want to explain why exactly I chose this topic for my dissertation. Right from the start, I was sure that I would write it in English, but I could not make my mind up about the subject.

Then, on February 15 of last year, we got the terrible news about a tanker having run aground on the west coast of Wales and losing a lot of oil. This was bad enough, but what was even more shocking for me was that this oil spill had occurred exactly in the vicinity of Milford Haven, the place where my mother grew up and where a lot of my relatives live. I thought of the wonderful holidays I had spent there every year and about how beautiful this whole area is. It was terrible having to fear that the environment that was so dear to me would be destroyed. The next few days, my family and I were very anxious and followed all the latest news with great concern, as it became more and more evident that the accident had turned out to be a real disaster.

As sad as it may sound, this whole incident gave me the motivation to write my dissertation on this subject, as it was something I was deeply interested in. I decided to visit my relatives in Milford Haven during the summer holidays, so I could get a clear impression about the consequences of this catastrophe. I also wanted to talk to the people living there and therefore directly affected by the disaster, as it had happened right on their doorstep. So for me, writing the dissertation was really very interesting, even enjoyable to some extent.

Nevertheless the task was not always very easy. The incident had only happened recently and so my knowledge about it was mostly dependent on newspaper articles of which I did not even always know the date and the exact edition, as my relatives in Wales had collected them for me without paying attention to these details. But visiting the area, talking to the local population and carrying out some interviews was of great help as well.

To make clear the tragedy of such a huge oil spill taking place in such an environment, I shall begin by giving a short description of the area itself.

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Last Updated: 29-01-10