What We Do

The Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to the preservation of underwater cultural heritage. Based in Australia, it has sponsored work throughout Australia, Asia and the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions.

AIMA’s objectives are to support and undertake research within the field of maritime archaeology and to publish the results of this work.

In Australia, AIMA has supported important archaeological investigations on sites including Batavia (1629) in Western Australia, HMS Sirius wrecked at Norfolk Island, HMS Pandora (1791) off far north Queensland, Sydney Cove (1797) wrecked in Bass Strait, Tasmania, and Zanoni (1867) in South Australia.

AIMA works closely with, and provides advice to, State, Territory and Australian Federal Government on policy pertaining to underwater cultural heritage, such as the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001.

AIMA plays an important role in the dissemination of maritime archaeological research. It has an active publications programme including a quarterly newsletter and an annual volume, the Australasian Journal of Maritime Archaeology, as well as special publication reports. AIMA also organises an annual conference and provides scholarship money for members to conduct fieldwork and research.

International Role

AIMA plays an active role in international maritime archaeology. The organisation strongly supports the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001 and is formally accredited by UNESCO as a Non-Government Organisation member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body to the State Parties to that Convention.

AIMA also supports the work of the International Committee for Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH) with several of our members represented on the committee and holds an associate membership to the Advisory Council for Underwater Archaeology (ACUA).

AIMA members have been involved in training programmes in China, Thailand, Taiwan and Sri Lanka. Joint co-operative projects to assist and support existing or developing maritime archaeological programmes have been undertaken in Kenya, Oman, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, Korea and Japan.