A joint decision has been announced by the Minister of National Defence Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, and Shipping and Island Policy Minister Giannis Plakiotakis regarding conditions for recreational scuba diving on submerged cultural sites in Greece.
Within the current framework, 91 ship and plane wrecks have been designated as cultural sites. These are exclusively metal ships and aircraft that sank from 1868 to 1970 – the majority from the period of World War II – located at depths ranging from 10 to 120 meters.
According to the announcement, specific documentation must be submitted to the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports prior to diving on one of the scheduled sites, either by the leisure service operator (dive school or tour operator) or by the individual divers.
The removal of objects from the site and its wider area is strictly prohibited, and extreme care must be taken to avoid damaging or causing further deterioration of the wreck. It is also forbidden to search for objects by removing sediments, both inside the wreck and in the surrounding area.
The full list of the 91 wreck sites can be found here (link in Greek).
This article first appeared in Greece-Is.com, an English-language publishing initiative by Kathimerini.