University of Patras in collaboration with Region of Thessaly, Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, ATLANTIS Consulting and the active participation of BLUEMED partners organized with great success the International Conference in Management of Accessible Underwater Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites, “Dive in Blue Growth”, under the auspices of Η.Ε. the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, in Acropolis Museum, in Athens, from 16 to 18 October 2019.
The overall success of the Conference is based on the warm welcome that conference subjects received and the high level of participation, as more than 300 people from 11 countries, from Europe, Asia and the Americas participated in the Conference.
The 3 productive days of the Conference, in which 55 speakers from all over the world participated, was a great opportunity for underwater archaeologists, public organizations, local governments, universities, marine researchers, NGOs, tourist organizations, diving park/dry dive managers, and underwater industry players to exchange views on problems and solutions for underwater natural and cultural heritage.
Roberto Petriaggi, Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro (ISCR) consultant for Restoring Underwater Project, Dimitris A. Pados, Charles E. Schmidt Eminent Chair Professor of Engineering and Computer Science in the Florida Atlantic University and Christos Economou, Head of the Unit Sea basin strategies in DG MARE, specialist Maritime Regional Cooperation and Maritime Security participated as Keynote Speakers in the International Conference.
During the conference different perspectives were discussed in the 3 very interesting conference topics:
a) Management and protection of accessible Underwater Cultural Heritage sites and diving parks
b) Initiatives for sustainable Blue tourism through accessible UCH sites and diving parks
c) Technologies for offering dry dive experiences to non-drivers.
Conference participants had the opportunity to live a dry dive experience in BLUEMED pilot sites with the Virtual Reality glasses and equipment that University of Calabria provided.