Deep-sea cable installers are about to begin laying a transatlantic cable line for Meta, the social media behemoth formerly known as Facebook, through Nova Scotian fishing grounds as soon as this week, according to Canadian media. Local fishing and conservation groups said on Monday the project was pushed through without enough – or any – input from the community.
The Atlantic Groundfish Council, a regional fishing trade group, told CBC News on Monday “the consultation here was largely non-existent,” pointing out that they had suggested an alternate route that didn’t disturb important fishing grounds but received no response. Talks with consultants for the project lasted just one month, according to Kris Vascotto, a spokesman for the group.
The organization had “anticipated that there would be further discussions” with either the government Department of Fisheries and Oceans or at least with the company then known as Facebook itself, but they heard nothing until they were told last week that “a vessel was going to be coming into the area and that gear should be removed from the area to facilitate the laying of the cable.”
The process is expected to take at least a month and a half, as fishermen are being told to stay at least one nautical mile away from cable-laying vessels through the end of March and to remove any gear within half a nautical mile of the route to be traveled by the cable-laying vessel.