We believe that this project is relevant to the marine aggregates industry in that it will:
  • demonstrate the cost benefits of integrating archaeological and ecological surveys of sites in aggregate extraction areas;
  • increase understanding by archaeologists of environmental interactions and processes on wreck sites, which could, for example, improve our understanding and prediction of the cumulative effects of seabed development on wreck sites;
  • suggest possible cross-over advantages from the respective mitigation measures used by each discipline.
From an archaeological perspective, if the project suggests that the data is useful to both archaeology and ecology, this will open new doors with respect to better understanding site formation processes and the implications this has for managing wreck sites. It will also build important inter-disciplinary links between archaeologists and ecologists, and may point the way to closer interactions in future.
At a general level, this project seeks to promote an awareness of the wider, in this case ecological, importance of the marine historic environment. We hope that this work will add a new dimension – for the public and marine professionals alike – to the study of our historical shipwrecks. Ultimately, it is hoped that the results of the project will benefit strategies for the conservation of our marine resources – both historical and natural.