Crashing waves

Threats to Our Ocean Heritage: A Book Series

Lead Institute: The Ocean Foundation

This action is an ocean literacy project highlighting the threats to our ocean heritage, both natural and cultural, from bottom trawling, deep seabed mining, and potentially polluting wrecks. The action consists of three books, workshops on PPWs, and associated multimedia products which target both stakeholders and the general public. By Barcelona, the first PPW workshop will have taken place and there are three more planned. One book on underwater cultural heritage and bottom trawling and one on potentially polluting wrecks will be published as part of the SpringerBriefs in Underwater Archaeology Series. These are in press and will be delivered before Barcelona, or very soon after. A book highlighting the threats from seabed mining will be published as an edition of ICOMOS Heritage at Risk series. The books are intended as education outreach resources that will shine a light on how these activities are threats not only to UCH but also to natural heritage. This is a call to action and includes recommending a moratoria on the activities until scientific surveys and research have been done and baseline information about our ocean heritage (natural and cultural) is integrated into Environmental Impact Assessments, Marine Spatial Planning– including the setting aside of significant natural and cultural heritage as Marine Protected Areas.

Diver explores underwater shipwreck
Ocean splashes against side of boat
Arial shot of shipwreck
Arial shot of speedboat racing through waters

The aims of the project are:

This project aims to serve as a call to action about the threats to our ocean heritage, both natural and cultural, and advocates for moratoria on the threatening activities until proper scientific baseline surveys and research has been done. The project will result in:

  1. A greater degree of ocean literacy on complex topics across a wide range of stakeholders.
  2. A global network of experts and multi-national agency leadership convened to deliver authoritative input to global ocean stewardship campaigns and will persist as a source of ongoing advice to regional and national authorities and changemakers.
  3. Policy makers, maritime leaders, and stakeholders being encouraged to engage with these complex challenges, armed with relevant and well researched learnings about practical management options.

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