Diver above the wreck of the iron ship Dunnottar Castle, lost at Kure Atoll on July 15,1886.  (courtesy NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries)

Recent decades have witnessed an expansion of activity directed at underwater cultural heritage which has raised awareness of the potential and importance of this heritage. There has also been a realisation of the threats to this material from human activities and natural action, sea-level rise and erosion, increased development, industrial extraction, exploitation of marine resources and SCUBA diving activities which are all contributing to damage and loss. This period of relatively rapid change has increased pressure on governments, heritage groups and agencies, coastal zone managers, diving groups and other users to formulate an approach to managing the underwater cultural heritage.

 Underwater Cultural Heritage at Risk: Managing Natural and Human Impacts

The publication Underwater Cultural Heritage at Risk: Managing Natural and Human Impacts forms part of the ICOMOS Heritage at Risk series. Underwater Cultural Heritage at Risk demonstrates the application of the principles of the 2001 UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. With over 30 authors, the book canvasses a wide range of underwater cultural heritage sites from around the world. These include shipwrecks, fish traps and inundated offshore deposits in Asia, South America, the Pacific, North America, South Africa and Europe. The environments in which they are set range from tidal zones to the extreme depths of international oceanic waters. Individual articles or the full text of this publication are available as downloadable pdfs .