The two branches of the central government for China, who are responsible for the well being of underwater cultural heritage, have just signed an agreement this past Monday to cooperate more fully with one another.

Under this new agreement, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) will cooperate more fully in fields of underwater archeology and the management of relics recovered from beneath the sea.

The two agencies will also help each other out in performing regular surveys of underwater relics, to help ensure that they do not become damaged in some way.

Shan Jixiang, the director of the SACH, commented during the signing ceremony that the agreement was a move at the state-level to help keep the underwater cultural heritage of China safe in the midst of the worldwide boom in ocean development.

The director of the SOA, Sun Zhihui, has commented that the SOA would be actively providing support and assistance in protecting underwater relics by cooperating more fully with the SACH in areas such as the enforcement of the maritime laws and in the forecasting of marine disasters such as hurricanes, oil spills and the like.

The two agencies will look to establish a long term cooperation by devoting time to the creation and upkeep of their pilot cooperation programs.

It’s good to see that China has taken an interest in protecting their underwater cultural heritage, as so much has been lost, it would really be a shame if more of it were lost.