Australasian Underwater Cultural Heritage Database

An important AIMA initiative was the development of a web-based Australian National Shipwreck Database (ANSDB). In December 2009 the database was updated and re-launched and hosted by the Australian Government. The database included all known shipwrecks in Australian waters. New features of the ANSDB include extra fields of information, the capacity to attach images to shipwrecks, the ability to link shipwrecks to relics recovered from shipwreck sites, site environment information for divers and site managers and a history field with the ability to attach documents that include names of passengers and crew. Also included in the ANSDB was an integrated management system to facilitate online permit applications and notifications. 

On 24 August 2018, the Australian Parliament passed the Underwater Cutural Heritage Act 2018, which came into effect on 1 July 2019, replacing the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 (Historic Shipwrecks Act). To align with the new legislation, the ANSDB was replaced with the Australasian Underwater Cultural Heritage Database (AUCHD). The AUCHD contains historical and environmental information about shipwreks, sunken aurcraft and othr types of underwater heritage sites located in the Oceania and Southeast Asian regions, and includes the recors of artefacts that originate from these sites.

The AUCHD also serves as the register of protected underwater cultural heritage for the Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018 (the UCH Act) and provides a portal for the public to submit notifications and permit applications required under the UCH Act.

The information in the ANSDB was collected by each of the State and Territory maritime cultural heritage management agencies or supplied by collecting institutions holding historic shipwreck relics. Currently, not all data fields are populated. If you have information, or historical or contemporary site images that you wish to contribute to the AUCHD, please email and the information will be forwarded to the relevant State or Territory agency in which the shipwreck is located.