Guidance for fishing vessel owners operating in vicinity of subsea cables

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The Club would like to advise fishing vessel owners and operators of the Kingfisher Information Service (KIS) offered by Seafish. Their Offshore Renewable & Cable Awareness project has been designed to assist fishermen operating in the North Sea and around the UK by providing free, accurate and up-to- date information relating to subsea cables and offshore wind farms. 

 In recent months, the Club has been notified of a number of incidents where it has been alleged that Members’ vessels have navigated these areas whilst engaged in fishing, despite notices being issued that prohibits movement in these areas during certain stated times. In some cases actual damage is alleged which, due to the function of these subsea installations, may result in the receipt of substantial claims for damages.

One of the services offered by KIS is an interactive Google map. The map shows the routing of most cables and is both colour and pattern coded to clearly identify the different types of subsea cables that are active and disused, including power and telecom cables.

The map also highlights different forms of hazard including wind farms; working, under construction and planned, and potential and electric substations.

KIS offers a free bi-weekly bulletin that aims to keep the fishing industry up-to-date with information relating to hazards including subsea cables, planned developments, new structures being installed and zones created.

In addition, KIS also allows Members to download the latest awareness charts and maps. These can be filtered by area, time of upload and the type of chart desired.  This may assist Members in staying informed of areas that are deemed imprudent, unsafe, unduly hazardous or improper to fish.

Utilising this data may assist in protecting operators of fishing vessels against the possibilities of an incident and therefore any associated claims.

For any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact the Loss Prevention team via lossprevention@shipowners.co.uk.