This Comment assesses the marine archaeology provisions of UNCLOS III and argues that the principles embodied in U.S. abandoned shipwreck law may significantly contribute to cooperative efforts that determine the future of shipwrecks found in international waters. Part I compares the existing legal framework of international marine archaeology established by UNCLOS III with U.S. law on abandoned historic shipwrecks. Part II presents commentators' interpretations of the Convention's marine archaeology provisions. Part II emphasizes these commentators' views on the ability of a nation to obtain jurisdiction over shipwreck recovery operations in international waters and whether nations should apply principles of salvage and finds to these efforts. Part III argues that UNCLOS III should be broadly interpreted to better reflect the U.S. view that salvage and finds law is inappropriate for historic shipwrecks. Finally, Part III proposes a legal structure for the treatment of historic shipwrecks found beyond domestic jurisdiction.
Anne M. Cottrell,
The Law of the Sea and International Marine Archaeology: Abandoning Admiralty Law to Protect Historic Shipwrecks,
17 Fordham Int'l L.J. 667
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol17/iss3/7