Bureau of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture
On May 20, 2012, Taiwan’s Council of Cultural Affairs (CCA) was upgraded to the Ministry ofCulture with the Bureau of Cultural Heritage (hereinafter referred as BOCH) under its jurisdiction.The bureau is in charge of national cultural heritage, implement and supervise national cultural heritage preservation, maintenance, application, education, promotion, study, reward, and sponsorship.Antiquities and Archaeological Sites Division is the competent authority of underwater cultural heritagein Taiwan. It is in charge of the planning, formulation, and promotion ofunderwater cultural assets, survey, deliberation, registration, abolishment, change, assistance, supervision, and consultation of underwater cultural heritage, and the zoning, management, and promotion of underwater cultural water heritage protected zone.
Taiwan’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Preservation Act
Taiwan’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Preservation Act was promulgated and implemented on December 9, 2015. In the future, the BOCH will formulate mid- and long-term study development strategy and plan, and establish a competent authority of national underwater cultural heritage preservation and study, to continue to have a general survey of underwater cultural heritage, establish a basic data bank, register and manage underwater cultural archaeological sites, set up a sanctuary and its supervision and management, develop survey and exploration technique, purchase necessary equipment, culture professional talents, strengthen exhibition education and public promotion, foster international exchanges and cooperation to echo the spirit and principles of Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage of the United Nations to actively preserve the common underwater heritage of all mankind.
Recordation and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage
The underwater archaeological team entrusted by the BOCH has remarkable achievements over the last 10 plus years since training talents organized a team. As of today, concrete objects have been found in more than 100 areas of ocean in Taiwan’s jurisdiction of water. More than 10 sunken ships have been identified, ranging from the era of the Song Dynasty to WWII. After the implementation of Taiwan’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, the BOCH has started to have expoloration and registered management for important sunken ships including S. S. Bokhara, Warship Guang Bing, Yamafuji Maru, General Number One, and Green Island Number One.