SEVERANCE CHECK: Mysterious Atlantic cable cuts linked to Russian fishing vessels — did they damage Svalbard’s?

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Photo of four-kilometer-long cable that disappeared — and was found again —  before it was placed in the sea by LoveOcean/Institute of Marine Research Norway

Few took notice when a 4.2-km subsea cable connecting Svalbard to mainland Norway vanished without trace back in April 2021, but these days undersea infrastructure security has become a hot topic, EUobserver reports.

Inspectors mounted an expensive operation to see what happened. It took them until November 2021 to find a 3-km chunk of severed cable out at sea, some 11km out of position. The severed Svalbard cable is to cost €5.6m to repair and to be fully operational in 2024, amounting to years of lost scientific input.

“Either a trawl or an anchor grabbed the cable and dragged it. We’re pretty sure about that. When we inspected one of the ends of the cable it was clearly cut with a power tool which means it had been brought on to a vessel and manually cut,” Pedersen told EUobserver. “It could have been an accident or it could have been sabotage. We don’t know and I think we’ll never find out.”

 

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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