The North American Submarine Cable Association, or NASCA, is a non-profit organization of companies that own, install or maintain submarine telecommunications cables in the waters of North America. NASCA serves as a forum for its membership to provide and exchange information on technical, legal, and policy issues of common interest. These issues include standards and procedures for government approval of new cable installations; working relationships with other marine industries; and public education about such cables. NASCA was formed in October 2000. NASCA is seeking IRS recognition as a non-profit trade association and business league under section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.
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NASCA Member Cable System Routes Have Been Revised
Date: January 15, 2022
NASCA has revised submarine telecom cable system routes of its members to further ensure the safety and continued operations of submarine telecom cable systems which have been designated critical infrastructure for both economic and security reasons. NASCA cable charts provide the interested stakeholder the ability to assess the proximity of submarine cable systems to any planned coastal projects or infrastructure build-out, and to request further information if required.
Cable routes are overlaid onto NOAA Charts for those residing in United States waters, and on equivalent charts for those outside of the United States. Should a Viewer require more definition regarding the routing of one or more submarine cable systems, they are invited to request further information from CableCharts@N-A-S-C-A.org.
NASCA Cable Burial Experience on the Northeast Coast of the United States
Date: August 15, 2019
The purpose of this NASCA cable burial experience statement is to share the cable burial experiences of the submarine telecom cable industry with other offshore stakeholders who may find it necessary to protect their subsea assets from fishing and marine resource harvesting operations.
Submarine telecommunications cables have landed at sites along the Northeast Coast of the United States for decades. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, submarine telecom cables located in the Northeast United States seaboard suffered several cases of damage from hydraulic clam dredges. During that period the typical target burial depth for telecom cables in this region was two to three feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters)
Hydraulic clam/quahog dredges penetrate the seabed more than other mobile fishing and harvesting gear such as scallop dredges and otter trawls. Numerous studies have examined seabed penetration of these gear types (Stevenson et al).
In response to this external threat, since the year 2000, submarine cable systems have been buried to a typical target depth of 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 2 meters) where seabed conditions permit. Shallower burial in hard, dense sea beds has been sufficient to protect the cable. Since this change, the subsea telecom cable regional damage rates resulting from fishing and hydraulic clam dredging operations have been reduced to near zero.
 Stevenson D, Chiarella L, Stephan D, Reid R, Wilhelm K, McCarthy J, Pentony M. Characterization of the fishing practices and marine benthic ecosystems of the northeast US shelf, and an evaluation of the potential effects of fishing on essential habitat. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS NE 181; 179 p.
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