Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001)


The Convention sets out the principles and guidelines that States must follow in the safeguarding of underwater cultural heritage. It defines underwater cultural heritage "as all traces of human existence having, historical or archaeological character" which are discovered under water. The Convention emphasizes the preservation in situ of underwater cultural heritage, as well as non-intrusive methods of documentation of said culture for the education of the public. It also states that any activities directed at underwater cultural heritage must avoid the disturbance of human remains or venerated sites. Furthermore, the Convention strictly prohibits the commercial exploitation of underwater cultural heritage.