Open To the Public:
Realising the significance of World War II Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific region
Indoor Theater, July 22, 2017, 2:15 PM
Sponsored by the UOG Sea Grant
The waters of the Pacific Ocean contain a wealth of unique heritage. Beneath the depths of these waters are traces of human existence that span thousands of years and are a testimony to the special human interaction with the coast and sea. This heritage includes ancient sunken villages, fish traps, sacred cultural sites, historical shipwrecks and aircraft, as well as ‘intangible’ heritage related to voyaging, navigation and utilization of the marine environment.
World War underwater cultural heritage in Asia-Pacific includes over 3,800 shipwrecks and thousands of aircraft, of which many are dived by tourists. These sites can also be ‘sacred’ places given they can include the human remains of lost sailors and soldiers. They can also contain oil and munitions that may cause concern particularly if these sites are corroding and collapsing. The recent illicit salvage of the World War II shipwrecks in Indonesia highlights the importance of having good local support, and to not simply rely on western style laws and values that have little or no relevance to local people. The value and relevance of World War underwater cultural heritage to all people is an important consideration in the ongoing use and management of the sites.
This seminar contains a number of papers that will provide information about the wonderful world of diving World War shipwrecks in a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, and also the tragic nature of these sites, and the ways in which they may be researched and managed.
The seminar is open to the public and people are encouraged to attend and actively participate in the discussion.