New Titanic Treaty

Scott Newman

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Jun 16, 2004
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Hmmm...interesting indeed...but the countries that visit the site the most, Russia and France, have not yet signed the treaty...so who knows. I really have mixed emotions about this. It will take months, if not years, to get this treaty signed by all respective parties.

Scott
 
Jul 11, 2001
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How can two countries sign a treaty that has no details? How can a "New" Treaty dictate how previously recovered items be handled? And who is going to determine what is looting versus legitimate recovery? Congress? I sure hope not! By the time they ever get around to deciding if a tea cup sitting 600 yards from the ship is able to be recoved, the whole ship will have disintigrated into dust!

Why wasn't a public hearing done on this? I'm sure James Cameron could have testified that he of all people has documented more information on the Titanic than Ballard could ever have done! I think this really stinks. Ballard would rather see the ship disappear than let future expeditions explorer deeper into the ship.

I agree that frivolous weddings on the bow are "over the Top". But who will prevent this? 24/7 live cameras mounted on the ship to catch people? Will they get a ticket mailed to them like running a red light? I can see it now. Ballard on TV holding up a photo of a submersable trying to get a look at it's license plate number.
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Signed, David Smith
Astonished in Hartford.
 

Scott Newman

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Jun 16, 2004
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My thoughts exactly David. I don't quite agree with your thoughts on Ballard, but then again, I have never met him. I do agree with your statements about Cameron though. If you were to compare the work between the two "explorers"...well there is no comparison. James Cameron has revealed more about the Titanic than any other explorer in my opinion.

It has been said that the battle over salvaging at the Titanic is clearly an "emotional" battle. I wonder sometimes if this battle is becoming more of an egotistical battle. My own opinion is, as I've already stated...let them salvage, but let us see the artifacts without grossly increasing the salvagers' bank accounts.

Scott
 
Dec 2, 2000
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My question is how the hell they mean to enforce it against anyone not a signitory to the treaty. Are they going to station a warship over the wrecksite? Not bloody likely. Seems the best protection the ship has in this case is that most of the resources needed for the job are the property of the signitories and the nations they hope will sign on.

Doesn't mean that this can't change in the future.
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Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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I am not in favor of one dime of the American taxpayer's money being spent to enforce the provisions of a treaty that I think is Constitutionally dubious to begin with. I hope the Senate will have the good sense to vote it down because this treaty is nothing more than making a monumen of Robert Ballard's ego.
 
Nov 30, 2000
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I disagree, Eric. The Titanic wreck site has become as trashed and tacky as Mount Everest and should be protected for it is a VERY sacred place and that's all there is to it, IMHO.

Richard
 

Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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Whether one considers it "sacred" or not (and I don't) isn't the issue with me. This is not a matter that should be the concern of the Federal government, and certainly not one that the Federal government should be spending money on to enforce, which is what they would have to do.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I am not in favor of one dime of the American taxpayer's money being spent to enforce the provisions of a treaty that I think is Constitutionally dubious to begin with.<<

If you would post a link to the treaty and it's provisions, then explain what you believe is unconstitutional about it, I would be greatly interested. I'd like to know what exactly is being debated here. (The article didn't offer the verbatim text of the treaty itself.)
 

Jack Devine

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Jan 23, 2004
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"My question is how the hell they mean to enforce it against anyone not a signitory to the treaty."
A treaty is not enforceable against anyone not a signatory, as it's simply an agreement between several parties. The only way this could have any value (other than the cynical "look at what a nice gesture we made") is if they manage to sign up every nation capable of diving to the wreck site. I don't claim to know who currently has deep-diving capability, but I imagine that getting the Russians and French on board would pretty effectively protect the site. Should someone else want to visit the wreck, the treaty would have no effect. My opinion is that the treaty is a good idea, but of little value until France and Russia sign on.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>A treaty is not enforceable against anyone not a signatory, as it's simply an agreement between several parties<<

Thanks. That was my point exactly. I'm still wondering if the text of this paper is on line somewhere. With all the discussion about whether or not it's a good thing sure to follow, it would be nice to read it for myself to see what it really says.
 
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William Barr

Guest
Nothing I have read in this article restricts entering the ship or doing film documentation, it does not even specifically say no salvage, just documentation of what's taken and that the public can view it.

I'm thrilled Ballard is finally vocal about it and is working to establish some rules.

I hope NOAA can get these so-called artifacts (that are only 90 years old) away from RMST before they do attempt to sell them someday because if they document where they were taken from over the years they did not release that information.

I wish they could be put back on the ocean floor where they belong but that will never happen.

I think Cameron (who's ego is bigger than Ballard) is done with Titanic. He is not an explorer or a scientist, he is a film maker and is excellent at what he does and has made a lot of money off the ship. He also visited Bismark and made an outstanding documentary.

The article says it will set up regulations to control visits to the sites and there is nothing wrong with that if some camera can be set up at the surface year-round.

As for Titanic's ultimate fate it was decided long ago, no treaty will change that. Aside from people who want to make money with exhibitions I do not think any of this salvage was ever really necessary.
 

Jack Devine

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Jan 23, 2004
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I've not been able to find the text of this agreement online. The US State Dept press release says that the agreement will require member nations to "regulate" dives to the wreck. That could mean anything from strict control and oversight, to buying a five dollar looting license at the post office. I agree with Michael, this sounds nice but I'm going to withhold judgment until we see some specifics.
 

Lee Gilliland

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Feb 14, 2003
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Call your congress critter. He/she should be able to mail you a copy of any legislation passed in Congress in a few days. I'm not sure if an electronic copy is available for download but I'll ask, as I guarantee this thing is going to be half the size of Joyce's Ulysses and about as easy to read. If I get such, or find a place it is available on the web, I'll post it here.
 

Jon Hollis

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Jan 23, 2004
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I did mention some time ago microphones could be placed in the area to pick up sounds of any activity there and if viable then surveillance aircraft could check it out.
Fiction you say??? And Laugh if you want
BUT,
the system exits and in many oceans and has been active for many years by the gov't mainly for submarine tracking but has heard ships breaking up as well. So no big deal to place a few more microphones.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Yes, microphones could be placed, but unfortunately, that doesn't deal with the question of jurisdiction. If this treaty is to have any real teeth, it seems to me that what's needed is to get every nation with submersibles capable of diving to the wreck sign on, with severe restrictions on loaning/leasing them to third parties.

Absent that, it's just the mice voting to bell the cat.
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kevin johnson

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Apr 2, 2005
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ill dig around and see if I can find anything.

I agree that she needs to be protected but

how against nonsignatorys is the question.

Michael is right. Position a warship over

the wreck site? Not bloody likely,sorry my

English is showing.

There is no text on cnn of the treaty.

But it says France signed in November

I take it November last year?
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Here's the US State Department's media release - it gives some background to the involvement of Canada, France, the US and the UK in the formation of the International Agreement:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2004/33690.htm

Contact details at the State Department are also given for more information:

quote:

For further information, please contact Megan Sowards, Department of State, (202) 647-1169 or Fred Gorell, NOAA, (301) 713-9444 ext. 181, cell phone: (301) 332-8174.
Here's a link to the guidelines referred to on the NOAA site - many of those following this debate will already be familiar with it, but it gives some useful background for those new to it all:

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2001_register&docid=01-9023-filed.pdf
(Federal Register, Vol. 66 No. 71)

Here's a link to the UK legislation, signed last year:
http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2003/20032496.htm

(2003 No. 2496, MERCHANT SHIPPING, CASUALTIES, WRECK AND SALVAGE, The Protection of Wrecks (RMS Titanic) Order 2003)

I'm refraining from comment on both the International Agreement and the supporting Legislation at this time.​