Underwater Cultural Heritage and the Diving Community

The sport diving community has always been instrumental in discovering and reporting new underwater sites, and over the years divers have played a crucial role in creating public awareness and appreciation for underwater heritage. Since sport divers get to experience this heritage first-hand, they are also among the main stakeholders invested in protecting and preserving our shared heritage for future generations.

As such, the UNESCO 2001 Convention strongly encourages professional collaboration with the sport diving community, and advocates responsible public access to underwater cultural heritage including shipwrecks, submerged cities, and all other traces of human existence that have a cultural, historical or archaeological character. However, such access should always go hand in hand with site protection and preservation; under no circumstance should our common heritage be disturbed or looted for personal or commercial gains.   

Divers wishing to discover and explore archaeological sites are therefore encouraged to follow UNESCO’s Code of Ethics for Diving on Underwater Cultural Heritage Sites. By doing so, all divers can continue to enjoy these fascinating dive sites. 


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