Marine Licensing Exemptions for Archaeology

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Marine Licensing Exemptions for Archaeology

The NAS has contributed to a document making proposals for the exemption of certain archaeological activities from marine licensing. The report was submitted to the Marine Management Organisation & Historic England at the end of May 2015.

The proposal document has been compiled by the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) upon behalf of the Society and other organisations involved in underwater activities targeted at cultural heritage (listed in Appendix III) and was submitted to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Historic England (HE) upon behalf of the Society and these organisations. The invaluable assistance of Kevin Camidge (CISMAS), David Johnston (NAS), Peter Holt (SHIPS Project), Jason Lowther (Plymouth University), David Parham (Bournemouth University) and Daniel Pascoe (NAS), Wessex Archaeology, the Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee and the Chartered Institute of Archaeologists in the preparation of this document is gratefully acknowledged.

Summary of Draft Proposals for Additional Statutory Exemptions from Marine Licensing in respect of Marine Archaeology

In summary the proposals advanced are for additional statutory exemptions to the requirement for a marine licence under the 2009 Act in respect of certain activities undertaken in the course of an archaeological project.

These proposals encompass:

1.   A draft definition of an ‘archaeological project’ for inclusion in any Statutory Instrument which would set out the additional exemptions to the requirement for a marine licence under the 2009 Act in respect of certain activities undertaken in the course of such an archaeological project.

2.   In respect of any marine archaeological site, irrespective of whether or not that site is protected by designation or scheduling, the exemption of:

  • The temporary deposition of Markers (Buoys or Shot Lines) for up to 6 (six) months
  • The deposition, using a vessel or floating container, of Survey or Recording Equipment
  • Depositions for stabilising the seabed to protect underwater cultural heritage
  • Depositions for emergency stabilisation of the seabed to protect underwater cultural heritage

3.   In respect of Sites designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, scheduled under the Ancient Monuments & Archaeological Areas Act 1979 or protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986, the exemption of:

  • Markers for a Restricted Area designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 or a Scheduled Monument under the Ancient Monuments & Archaeological Areas Act 1979 or a Protected Place or Controlled Site under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 
  • Diver Trails within a Restricted Area designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 or within a Monument scheduled under Section 1 of the Ancient Monuments & Archaeological Areas Act 1979 or within a Protected Place (but not a Controlled Site) as defined under Section 1 of the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 
  • Authorised Removal of an Object using a floating container or vessel from a Restricted Area designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 or from a Monument scheduled under the Ancient Monuments & Archaeological Areas Act 1979 or from a Protected Place or Controlled Site as defined under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 
  • Authorised Dredging (excavation) within a Restricted Area designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 or within a Monument scheduled under the Ancient Monuments & Archaeological Areas Act 1979 or within a Protected Place or Controlled Site as defined under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

 The full report and Appendix II (Warship Hazardous Prize (1706) a protected wreck site at risk) can be downloaded here - pdf full report and Appendix II.