MEP were contracted to complete a study into a proposed cable route within the Gulf of Lions. The proposal concentrated on the possible risks to the cable associated with the commercial fishing industry, that was active in the area. The completed project followed the following required areas.
- Review of all fishing activities in the Gulf of Lion both current and projected, including type and size of equipment used, size and power (HP) of fishing vessels. Degree of interaction with the seabed, areas where the different activities were carried out and the spatial and seasonal constraints, together with depth limitations of fishing activities.
- Identified the types of fish caught commercially.
- Provide a detailed analysis of the management and expected future development within the above criteria.
- Conduct research into any current or proposed aquaculture and fish aggregation devices in the Gulf of Lions.
- Risk assessment relating to danger to the cable, as associated with the fishing threats. Including consideration of the possible methods used for cable fault mitigation.
- A list of all relevant Fishing Associations (or equivalent) contact addresses and procedures.
Following the review, MEP reached a number of conclusions, including a view that the risk of trawl damage to exposed undersea cables on the continental shelf of the Gulf of Lions was significant.