The Statement of Principles (which was adopted by the Society in 2007) recognises the non-renewable nature of cultural heritage wherever situated, supports all activities that further the recording, preservation and responsible management of the cultural heritage and respects the letter and spirit of national and international legislation.

NAS stipulates that it will not associate itself with, nor derive a profit or advantage from, the sale of cultural heritage material for private benefit.

To this end, NAS will speak out against actions that contravene its Statement of Principles – recent statements can be read below.

Statement of Principles

The Society:

1. Recognises the non-renewable nature of cultural heritage wherever situated.

2. Supports all activities that further the recording, preservation and responsible management of the cultural heritage.

3. Respects the letter and spirit of national legislation and that of international legislation, codes of practice and charters that are designed to protect the cultural heritage.

4. Will use its best endeavours to:

(i) act in accordance with the letter and the spirit of international codes of practice and charters that are designed to protect and preserve the underwater cultural heritage;

(ii) adopt best international practice in its dealings with the cultural heritage;

5. Will not associate itself with, nor derive a profit or advantage from, the sale of cultural heritage material for private benefit. This clause is not intended to apply to the disposal of such material to a bona fide cultural institution for conservation, research or public display or to the payment by such an institution of a reward for the remuneration of expenses or the furtherance of activity that supports and promotes the understanding or management of cultural heritage.

6. Does not endorse intrusive archaeological work wherever situated, unless satisfied that

(i) such intrusion is justified by sound archaeological imperatives; (ii) the persons undertaking such work are qualified and competent to undertake it;

7. Recognises that human remains and other sensitive cultural material must be treated with respect and in accordance with the prevailing law.

8. Recognises that site owners and other interested parties must be treated with respect and in accordance with the prevailing law.

9. Recognises that best endeavours should be made to deposit the results of research with appropriate publicly accessible and permanent repositories within a reasonable time.

10. Recognises that best endeavours should be made to disseminate the results of research in appropriate publications and other media within a reasonable time.

11. Recognises that bona fide requests for information concerning research should not be refused provided that the request is consistent with prior rights of publication and other archaeological responsibilities

12. Will recognise and uphold the copyright and other intellectual property rights of other researchers and where legitimate use is made of the work of other parties this will be appropriately acknowledged.

13. Recognises that best endeavours should be made to encourage and educate others to take an interest in nautical archaeology and to develop their experience and skills.

14. Recognises the imperative to support activities that inform and educate a wider public about the aims and achievements of the Society.

Recent statements

Response to Dover Harbour Board's application for an MMO licence for aggregate extraction on the Goodwin Sands - September 2016