Fishing & Shipwreck Heritage

Fishing & Shipwreck Heritage: Marine Archaeology’s Greatest Threat?

Sean A. Kingsley

For 250 years encrusted wonders have been turning up in fishermen’s nets: everything imaginable from prehistoric animal bones to priceless Roman statues. Fishing trawlers annually sweep an area equivalent in size to half the world’s continental shelves. Everything in the wake of these bulldozers of the deep is battered. A devastating trail of smashed shipwrecks runs from the North Sea to Malaysia.

 

The profound threat of the global fishing industry remains a black hole in marine archaeology, poorly understood and unmanaged. Fishing and Shipwreck Heritage is the first global analysis of the threat of bottom fishing to underwater cultural heritage, examining the diversity, scale and implications on endangered finds and sites. Throughout, the key question of whether it is too late to save the planet’s three million wrecks and how sustainable management is achievable are debated.

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