Underwater archaeologist exploring the remains of a shipwreck

Photo: Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

Australia: closer cooperation on maritime archaeology

On 29 November, closer Dutch-Australian cooperation was announced to further enhance research on maritime archaeology and underwater heritage management.

During a networking event hosted by the Netherlands Embassy in Australia at the International Congress for Underwater Archaeology (IKUWA6) in Fremantle, Martijn Manders of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and Andrew Viduka of the Australian Department of Environment and Energy announced that both institutes are working on a Memorandum of Understanding for the purpose of further collaboration in research on maritime archaeology and underwater cultural heritage management. 
The MoU will build upon the huge boost that Dutch-Australian maritime heritage received thanks to the successful Dirk Hartog anniversary year. With this special year coming to a close, now is the time to look ahead. So far, four Dutch shipwrecks have been found in Australian waters, including the ‘Batavia’ and the ‘Zuytdorp’. At least three more are still missing, among them the ‘Aagtekerke’ and the ‘Fortuyn’. Earlier this year, the Netherlands and Australia jointly searched for the ‘Fortuyn’ near the Cocos Keeling Islands and Christmas Island, but the wreck was not found. More recently, Dutch and Australian maritime archaeologists conducted fieldwork at the sites of the Dutch shipwrecks ‘Zeewijk’ and ‘Batavia’ as part of the ‘Shipwrecks of the Roaring 40s’ project.