TWO SITES with 17th century shipwrecks off Shetland’s east coast are set to be become marine historic protected areas.
The wrecks of the Dutch cargo ship Kennemerland and the Danish warship Wrangels Palais are currently safeguarded under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, which is being superceded by the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010.
The Kennemerland was a Dutch East Indiaman outward bound from Holland when she was wrecked on Stoura Stack lost at the South Mouth entrance to the harbour of Out Skerries on 11 December 1664.
She was carrying a cargo of cloth, tobacco and spirits as well as a large quantity of gold gilders.
The Dutch-built naval vessel Wrangels Palais was lost at Lamda Stack, close to the navigation hazard of Bound Skerry on 23 July 1687, while pursuing Barbary pirates in dense fog.
Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “It is important to safeguard our most important underwater heritage sites in the seas around Scotland so that they can be valued and enjoyed.
“Historic MPAs provide protection based on the principle of sustainable use. We hope that visitors will have more opportunities to enjoy these sites on a ‘look butdon’t touch’ basis, and will also gain a better understanding of the importance of our marine heritage.”
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