The exploration of the Skerki Banks has been in the works since 2018. Then representatives and scientists from Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, France, Italy, Morocco and Spain agreed to map and protect historical artifacts on the seabed. UNESCO is also involved. Underwater heritage is vulnerable, including looting, fishing and climate change. This international mission is the largest mission ever under the Unesco flag to protect underwater heritage.
Several goals have been set. On the one hand, they want an inventory of all shipwrecks and other objects discovered on the Sicilian side in the 1980s and 1990s. American archaeologists then came across the very well-preserved remains of at least eight shipwrecks from various periods. These include a 19th-century British military ship and ships that sailed during the Second World War. The current mission wants to check whether all wrecks are still in good condition, or whether they have been damaged or robbed.
On the other hand, it is also the intention to study the much less researched Tunisian side. Do shipwrecks and other historical objects rest on the seabed there and if so, in what condition are they?