The 36 Rules of the ANNEX are a set of coherent rules concerning activities directed at underwater cultural heritage. Although they address different aspects, they need to be understood as a whole, since not all of them are self-explanatory if taken out of context. Moreover, they need to be considered in the wider context of heritage protection and management, although – even as a set – they only address a specific part of that field, namely the specific activities that are directed at underwater cultural heritage. These Rules align the different purposes, approaches, aims and objectives of such activities in the specific context in which it is deemed acceptable to interfere with heritage, under water as well as on land.
Although management policies have traditionally focused on heritage on land, heritage management is governed by general principles that apply to all heritage, irrespective of its location.. Many States have long defined policies and regulations for the protection and management of built and archaeological heritage. Worldwide, these long-standing approaches have led to a widespread consensus on the values of heritage and the prevention of its abuse. The Rules conform to that consensus and these widely acknowledged principles govern the Rules of the ANNEX.
The manual’s structure allows dealing with each Rule individually while referring to its wider context. The underlying principles are set out in the first set of Rules of the Annex, Rules 1 to 8, but obviously these fundamental principles governing heritage management, cooperation between parties, research, planning, and development recur throughout this book. The wider context of heritage protection and management, as well as trends in the development of society will be referred to consistently. It is in this wider context that each Rule makes sense.
The arguments treated in this chapter are:
- In situ preservation as the first option - Rule 1
- Commercial exploitation - Rule 2
- Limiting impact - Rules 3 and 4
- Humain remains and venerated sites - Rule 5
- The need for regulation - Rule 6
- The knowledge-sharing principle - Rule 7
- International cooperation - Rule 8