ICPC 2019 Plenary Environmental Focus

Ocean Specialists, Inc. (OSI) was represented by Perry Wright, Director of Integrated Subsea Systems at the International Cable Protection Committee’s 2019 Plenary Meeting in San Diego in May. The Plenary was a well-attended 3-day event with wide-ranging presentations, discussions, and meetings on just about every topic that is current and relevant to the protection of existing and planned submarine cables across the world.

On the legislative front, the proposed UN preliminary legislation covering Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) was of primary concern and the subject of several presentations. The ICPC and the subsea telecommunications industry as a whole is keen to see environmentally sensitive use of international waters while recognizing subsea telecommunications cables as a sustainable development of the oceans, with socio-economic benefits, and minimal environmental impact, as explained in the ICPC white paper “Submarine Cables and BBNJ” published in August of 2016.

There were a number of presentations covering the interface between Submarine Telecommunication Cables and Offshore Wind Development including the common use of the seabed and crossing protocols and issues for subsea power cable crossings. Even though the ever-growing presence of offshore wind cables is creating new challenges in the undersea cable industry, this developing industry is also benefiting from decades of telecom cable experience represented by the ICPC.

OSI would like to thank Peter Talling of the University of Durham for his recognition of OSI’s role in facilitating his upcoming series of cruises to investigate the Turbidity Flows associated with offshore canyons, starting with the Congo Canyon, during his presentation titled: “New technologies allow us to directly monitor and understand prodigious seabed flows that break submarine cables”

OSI joins all at ICPC to extend our thanks and recognition to Professor Lionel Carter for his exemplary service as, ICPC’s Marine Environmental Advisor (MEA). In announcing Professor Carter’s retirement, we welcome Mike Clare of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, who was confirmed as the new MEA for the ICPC.

Finally, OSI would like to thank the Board and Staff of ICPC for staging this exceptional event. ICPC has been at the vanguard of protecting and advocating for undersea cables for over 60 years. The value of that service has expanded over the years with global recognition of the importance of submarine cables to national and regional economic and security concerns. OSI is proud to be an active member of the ICPC and to help others with their Operations or Maintenance Support needs.

(Picture source: https://www.iscpc.org/events/2019-plenary-meeting/)