Ending The Destruction Of Our Undersea Cultural Heritage


For too long criminals have been destroying our undersea cultural heritage (UCH), damaging the marine environment, and desecrating naval war graves through unauthorised salvage of wreck sites.  No longer.  By using satellites and artificial intelligence originally designed to stop illegal fishing, we can now detect unauthorised salvage activities anywhere in the world and help hold these criminals to account.  The Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust (MAST) and OceanMind have teamed up to provide the Maritime Observatory, a UCH intelligence hub that supports governments with surveillance of important sites and investigation into suspicious activity.  The Maritime Observatory is providing expert support to several active international cases.


Nick Wise is founder and CEO of OceanMind, a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Using satellites and artificial intelligence, OceanMind powers effective fisheries enforcement and enables more responsible seafood sourcing, increasing compliance and sustainability. Building on this success, OceanMind is now developing AI to detect modern slavery on the oceans, particularly in fisheries, and to detect the desecration of war graves through unauthorised undersea salvage.

Nick has been designing large scale, highly secure software solutions for over 20 years, using innovative techniques focused on market needs. Before joining the ranks of social entrepreneurship, Nick’s journey saw him starting an Internet security business, as CTO of a mature SME, and managing product development in a billion-dollar multinational. As a DRK Entrepreneur, Nick now empowers people to solve global issues with technology.

Dr Giles Richardson is a maritime archaeologist, MA (Hons) PCIfA and an Invincible Project team diver. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Bath’s History of Technology Research Unit, and completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology. His research focuses on the archaeology of the Victorian Royal Navy. He continues to work on projects across Europe, notably the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology’s excavations at the sunken Ptolemaic city of Heracleion-Thonis in Egypt. He holds HSE Surface Supply (Offshore Top-Up) and Professional SCUBA qualifications, and is a BSAC Advanced Diver and Open Water Instructor and a PADI Open Water Instructor.