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Subject: Re: Fibreoptic Cables
From: Shareef Siddeek <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Mar 2000 16:05:09 -0900

text/plain (54 lines) , shareef_siddeek.vcf (14 lines)

It looks like the effects of fibreoptic cables on the marine environment is
not that bad compared to the effect of environment on the cables (and the
owners of those cables). There may be some fish, such as filefish (in the
tropics), that may attack the exposed portions of the cables on the bottom
with their sharp teeth and damage the connection. So, it may be important to
plan the laying route beforehand, avoiding those fish habitats or covering
the cables passing through those habitats, to reduce maintenance cost.

Shareef Siddeek.

Trevor Kenchington wrote:

> In the last week, two different people have asked me about the effects
> of the spate of fibreoptic cables that are being laid across the world's
> oceans -- those same cables through which most readers of this message
> will have received it. As the Information Age continues, more and more
> of these cables are being laid without, so far as I can tell, any
> opportunities for the fishing industry to comment.
> The effects of these cables on access to fishing grounds is obvious
> enough: The cable companies take a very dim view of their expensive
> cables being caught by an otter board or a clam dredge, so any cable
> creates a narrow "closed area" along its track. Meanwhile, the landward
> ends of each cable are trenched into the seabed, with clear (if very
> local) effects on the benthic environment.
> I am left wondering whether these cables have any other effects on the
> marine environment (and hence on the fisheries). I assume that their
> outer surfaces are non-toxic but does anyone know for sure? There is
> presumably some risk of whale entanglements during the laying of the
> cables (and for some whales also after they are on the bottom), along
> with some temporary obstruction to fishing activities. But is that all?
> Are fibreoptic cables harmless, save for their tendency to exclude
> certain types of bottom fishing from their immediate vicinities?
> Trevor Kenchington
> --
> Trevor J. Kenchington PhD                         [log in to unmask]
> Gadus Associates,                                 Office(902) 889-9250
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>                     Science Serving the Fisheries
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