Underwater archaeology remains a recent discipline that requires a high level of knowledge and technical experience, currently limited to a small number of experts and States.
The Annex of the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage provides clear technical operation standards and is internationally recognized as the leading guideline for activities relating to such heritage. Its provisions and standards provide for a high level of protection.
Nevertheless, a large number of countries lack qualified underwater archaeologist, conservation specialists and administrative personnel with scientific competence on a level appropriate to the importance of the submerged archaeological sites concerned. Capacity-building in the still recent, but very specific discipline of underwater archaeology is therefore urgently needed.