§ The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone)
The Government are supporting the National Heritage Bill put forward by the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay. The provisions contained in this Bill will extend the remit of English Heritage out to the limit of the territorial seas adjacent to England. This will enable them to undertake work and provide advice and support on archaeological sites in the marine environment and will bring the treatment of underwater archaeology in England into line with the rest of the United Kingdom. The legislation governing underwater archaeology will be reviewed as part of the forthcoming review of statutory controls applicable to the historic environment. In the meantime, a number of initiatives by the sport diving associations to promote a responsible attitude to historic remains and archaeological best practice and to encourage the adoption and stewardship of historic wreck sites are being endorsed by various government departments and agencies with interests in this field.