Understanding wreck divers: Case studies from Australia and Chuuk Lagoon

Dublin Core

Title

Understanding wreck divers: Case studies from Australia and Chuuk Lagoon

Subject

Session 6
Empowerment and relevance in maritime and underwater cultural heritage programs in developing countries

Description

A fundamental challenge for managers is how to allow divers access to shipwrecks whilst ensuring these sites are not harmed. A better understanding of the motivations and attitudes of divers who visit shipwrecks may allow better informed and more targeted management strategies to protect these fragile sites. This study sought to gain an insight into the socio-demographic characteristics, motivations and attitudes of wreck divers. It did this by conducting surveys of two groups of wreck divers: a group of divers at Chuuk Lagoon (Federated States of Micronesia) and a group of Australian wreck divers.

This study found that wreck divers primarily visit shipwrecks to see historically significant sites, artefacts and marine life. Fines, permits, special certification and dive guides were the most acceptable ways to control diver behaviour. There were significant differences in the motivations and attitudes of divers with different socio-demographic profiles: notably between genders and between divers from North America and Australia.

The data suggests management strategies should be tailored to the socio-demographic profile of the divers visiting a shipwreck. Sites which attract divers from different parts of the world may require a range of approaches to achieve widespread compliance and acceptance of the need for minimum impact.

Creator

Joanne Edney

Date

November 2011

Files

Citation

Joanne Edney, “Understanding wreck divers: Case studies from Australia and Chuuk Lagoon,” The MUA Collection, accessed December 14, 2017, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1193.

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