Marine Aggregates Protocol

We’re long-term supporters of the Marine Aggregates Protocol, protecting our nation’s underwater heritage and assisting the marine aggregates industry.

Examining marine archaeological find

The Marine Aggregates Protocol provides a streamlined system for reporting and investigating archaeological discoveries on the seabed, uncovered during marine aggregates operations, either on the dredging vessels or at the unloading wharves.

Marine aggregates workers receive training in how to recognise and report items of potential archaeological interest. Experts then investigate these finds and share information with relevant authorities and the marine aggregates industry.

With the first decade of the Protocol an overwhelming success, we look forward to what the next ten years will hold.”

Prof. Mike Cowling, Chief Scientist at The Crown Estate

Over 1,100 items have been reported since the Protocol’s launch in 2005, from Palaeolithic mammoth teeth to military aircraft remains and cannonballs.

The implementation of the Protocol and the reporting of outcomes is a partnership between the British Marine Aggregate Producers Association, Historic England and The Crown Estate. It provides a rigorous process to protect archaeological finds during marine aggregate operations. The outcomes offer unique opportunities to access our submerged past in hard-to-reach places.

The success of the Marine Aggregates Protocol has led to other industries establishing similar schemes, including offshore renewables. 

Further information

Marine Antiquities Scheme

Offshore Renewables Protocol

More on the protocol from Wessex Archaeology