Crab harvesters off the southeast Avalon are upset over a new fibre optic cable being laid through their fishing grounds.

The so-called Hibernia Express cable is described as a "low-latency, high-capacity subsea transatlantic cable" that will connect North America with Europe.

Crab being sold at wharf near St. John's

Crab harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador are upset they have to move their pots to make way for the laying of the transatlantic cable. (CBC)

Avalon MP Scott Andrews is speaking out against the project. He's representing the interests of crab harvesters, who think the timing couldn't be worse given the recent start of the crab season.

"It's been a real pain in the ass," he said.

"There's been no consultation, no communication. Now they're being told they've got to up and root their pots and move them away from where this fibre optic cable is going through."

The 4,600-kilometre cable, which Capacity Magazine named the top telecommunications project for 2015, will connect Halifax to Slough, England and Cork, Ireland

It's said to be the first modern fiber optic cable connecting North America to Europe in more than 12 years, catering to the need for additional fast and high-performing global network capacity.

Worried about impact on crab fishing grounds

Andrews said he believes DFO was alerted about the laying of the transatlantic cable, but Industry Canada is the government lead on the project.


MP Scott Andrews says there is also concern about the damage to the sea floor as a result of the new cable. ((CBC) )

He raised the issue in the House of Commons on Wednesday, saying Fisheries Minister Gail Shea didn't seem to have details about it, but said she would report back.

Andrews said there's been no consultation and little notification to harvesters on the issue.

"They're trenching a trench six to 10 feet wide and six to 10 feet deep right across the ocean floor," he said.

"I'm no scientist, but I'm sure there's going to be some impact on the crab grounds."

The Hibernia Express is scheduled to be ready for service in September.