Five new shipwrecks were given the official status of cultural heritage on November 4th 2016. That makes a total of eight officially recognised shipwrecks in the North Sea. According to the Belgian law with relation to shipwrecks, all findings are to be reported to the governor of West-Flanders province in his role as 'receiver'. A research follows to determine if the finding can be designated cultural heritage or not. Recognised shipwrecks are preserved in situ (they remain in the site where they were found) and their location is marked on nautical charts.
Special protective measures apply. Activities that could damage the wreck are prohibited (anchoring, dredging,...). You are allowed to dive in that spot, but you are required to inform the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) (see Notices to Mariners - BAZ nr 1) and to notify the Federal Public Service (FPS) Mobility and Transport at least 4 hours beforehand. This can be done by means of an electronic form on their website.