Did you know that Queensland has about 1400 historic shipwrecks along the coast? Those wrecks are of great historical value, but they are also teeming with marine life because they function as artificial reefs. Species of marine fauna and flora that you don’t usually encounter in open water often can be seen on wrecks.
There is also something spooky and intriguing about the old shipwrecks that lay in their underwater grave with everything on board left to the elements. Some are from the 18th century and hold a treasure of information about those first ships that came to Australian shores . No wonder that so many divers are attracted to wreck diving!
New survey However, little is known about most of the wrecks on the Queensland coast. There is only detailed information on an estimated 10% of all shipwrecks and just as little is known about other underwater heritage sites such as aircraft.
The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) has started a 5-year survey of Queensland’s historic shipwrecks to collate detailed information from members of the public, along with historical research and targeted field work to locate, record and assess as many of those wrecks as possible.
You can help Divers and fishermen can now participate to help mapping the wreck locations and artefacts left on the ocean floor. Sightings and photographs can be submitted to DERM, together with any historical information that you may have on the wreck.
Please note that some wrecks have restricted access due to their location in a protected zone and all wrecks over 75 years old are protected by the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 and the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. SO never disturb a wreck or take relics home with you!
How do you report shipwrecks?
Submit a ‘Notification of Discovery’ via the Australian National Shipwreck Database at the website of the Queensland government.
The website allows you to do an online search for the wreck, by area, name or relic and if the database doesn’t give a match, then you can submit your report.
All information will be gathered and checked and made available for people to visit the wrecks in the future.
Want to know more? At Adreno we stock Historic Shipwreck Survey Brochure with all details, which you can come and collect at our Scuba diving megastore in Woolloongabba.
Or you can order the Historic Shipwreck Survey Brochure by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68) during office hours, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .