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British Government Urged To Sign Shipwreck Treaty By Academics

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Britain’s rich maritime legacy is under threat from commercial treasure hunters who are accused by experts of plundering and destroying the nation’s underwater heritage.

A group of leading archaeologists and historians warn that unless the government intervenes to protect scores of historically significant wrecks lying beyond the country’s territorial waters, sites including the graves of those lost at sea could be exploited and lost for good.

This week the group, which includes leading scholars from Oxford University and the British Museum, called on the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to sign up to a United Nations treaty on protecting underwater remains.

“We’ve got a wonderful reputation for dealing with cultural heritage on land, and so far we’ve got a pretty abysmal reputation for dealing with it at sea,” said Barry Cunliffe, emeritus professor of European archaeology at Oxford.

The archaeologists want Britain to join 45 other nations in ratifying the 2001 Unesco convention on the protection of the underwater cultural heritage, a legal framework for protecting such sites. In a briefing document that was presented to William Hague, the foreign secretary, they warn that unless it signs up to the treaty, Britain will be largely incapable of protecting wrecks lying beyond its waters.

The report argues that a number of threats including natural erosion, damage from fishing vessels and illegal looting mean that “simply being hidden in deep water no longer offers protection”.

It warns that British law has no deterrent to people from taking objects from the seabed.

Britain’s maritime influence once spanned the globe, and sunken ships are the last resting place of many of its seafarers. The Royal Navy alone lost at least 2,227 vessels between 1605 and 1918; some 1,373 in foreign waters. These include HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue, armoured cruisers which in September 1914 were patrolling off the Dutch coast when they were torpedoed by a U-boat, killing 1,459 men. Cunliffe voiced alarm that wrecks are disturbed and damaged in the hunt for cannon and potentially lucrative cargoes: “They are disturbing them in a way that no respectable archaeologist would do.” He adds that many shipwrecks are at great depths, and the techniques are “rather crude and can be very destructive”.

To read more on this story, click here.

 

Source: www.theguardian.com

 Photo: Odyssey Marine Exploration

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Roots Red Sea is the Travelers’ Choice

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There is a remote spot on the coast of the Egyptian Eastern Desert that has been steadily developing an enviable reputation amongst the worlds diving community. It’s absolutely no surprise then that Roots Red Sea has just received TripAdvisors top award, Travelers Choice, the 10th year running it has been recognised with awards from TripAdvisor!

With a passing glance, many divers have dismissed a visit to this gem, its rustic appearance and remote location seemingly enough to deter further consideration. However, those that take a closer look have been rewarded with simply a totally unique experience with awesome diving, an unbelievable welcome and life long memories.

Winning an award once could be luck, every year for 10 years, there has to be a reason. Why not go to find out what it is?

info@rootsredsea.com

www.rootsredsea.com

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The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Nays Baghai

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Gemma and Ian chat to Nays Baghai. Inspired by The Blue Planet as a child, Nays’ work as an underwater cinematographer and photographer has been showcased by numerous premier brands, including Rolex and Sony Alpha.  Nays was featured amongst the Top 30 finalists of the Australasian Top Emerging Photographers competition in the Portfolio and Animal categories. He is a PADI-certified Freediving Instructor and Master Scuba Diver, and can dive to 40m both with and without tanks.

Have a listen here:

Find out more:


Find more podcast episodes and information at the new www.thebigscuba.com  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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