By Robin McKie A marine archaeologist warns urgent action is needed to stop heavy modern fishing nets obliterating important historic artefacts

They are some of the country’s greatest untouched treasures, having lain undisturbed on the seabed, in some cases for centuries. But now these archaeological riches are being destroyed at an unprecedented rate before scientists or historians can get their hands on them.

Once shipwrecks have been struck by fishing gear, they – and their contents – are obliterated for ever