Marine impact in the UK

The North Sea Link team has conducted comprehensive assessments into the potential environmental effects from the cable installation and operation. The key issues raised by marine stakeholders in the UK included effects on protected sites off the Northumberland coast and associated bird and marine mammal populations, commercial fishing and other marine users.

Protected sites and species
The route has been designed to avoid the most sensitive areas, including areas of potential reef habitat, and areas of the greatest importance for bird life.

Recreation and tourism
Cable installation at the landfall at Cambois Beach Slipway will result in a temporary exclusion period in the area during the works. There are no other adverse impacts to recreation and tourism as a result of the cables.

Commercial fishing
When undertaking the seabed survey the project team liaised closely with the fishing community through a Fisheries Liaison Officer. We also engaged with:-

  • the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority (NIFCA)
  • the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO)
  • the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF)

Through its studies North Sea Link does not anticipate any permanent adverse impacts on the fishing industry as a result of the project. Close liaison will also be maintained with local fishermen prior to and during the cable installation phase.

Benthic and fish ecology
A detailed offshore survey has been undertaken and no significant impact is forecast. Along the nearshore section of the cable route there are areas of low grade rocky reef. The cable has been routed to avoid these areas.

The cable route has been designed to avoid all wrecks and any potential unexploded ordnance.

The cable route does not cross any navigation channels and where possible will be buried to a depth of between 1m and 3m. Where burial is not possible rock protection will be used. No adverse impact is anticipated upon shipping and navigation.