Hot water: Treasure hunters vs the lawPosted: 26 November, 2020 Filed under: Ross Booth | Tags: artefacts, Colombia, Convention, country of origin, international law, international treasure hunting organisation, National Heritage Recourses Act, Odyssey Marine Exploration, shipwrecks, sunken fortunes, treasure hunting, UNESCO Convention 1 Comment
Author: Ross Booth
LLB student, University of KwaZulu-Natal
The ocean is an enormous place. In fact, its enormity is estimated to cover an area of 361 million square metres and hold around 97% of the earth’s water. It is thus no surprise that things are sometimes lost to the gargantuan depths. However, what happens when they are found?
Modern-day treasure hunting has become a high-risk-high-reward field, but it seems that in many cases, the risk vastly outweighs the reward. Most people, infatuated by the possibility of discovering sunken fortunes, fail to realise the implications that could arise if they do. In fact, the law has made it virtually impossible to keep the entirety of one’s treasure hunting loot – if any portion at all.