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Re: Fibreoptic Cables


"J. Orensanz" <[log in to unmask]>


Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>


Sun, 12 Mar 2000 08:19:15 -0800





TEXT/PLAIN (1 lines)

Dear Trevor,

Maybe you should check with Jeff June or Lee Alverson, at Natural
Resources Consultants:

        jeff june <[log in to unmask]>,

They have been conducting extensive research on the
known and potential effects of cables, both ecological and
fisheries-related. Last year I collaborated briefly with them on cables
reaching some ports in South America. They were conducting meticulous
studies which included consultation with local fishers, managers,
environmental officials, etc., prior to making decisions on cable routes.
Their projects are spread world-wide, and as
far as I know similar studies have been conducted everywhere. Specific
guidelines for those studies address all your concerns: entanglement of
cetaceans, exclusion of certain fishing gear, effects of theprotecting

Best regards,

Lobo Orensanz
School of Fisheries, U. of Washington

On Sat, 11 Mar 2000, 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
> R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour, Fax (902) 889-9251
> Nova Scotia B0J 2L0, CANADA Home (902) 889-3555
> Science Serving the Fisheries
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