Robert Fraser & Partners LLP Robert Fraser Asset Management Robert Fraser Marine
Marine Research Background & History

Over the past 500 years there have been tens of thousands of merchant ships which have perished in the oceans of the world, many laden with valuable cargoes, documented in research files assembled by marine specialists. Technological advances in deep water research, oceanography and cargo recovery have provided increasing opportunities to identify individual shipwrecks, and assess and realise value from recovered cargoes, including valuable artefacts, gold and silver bullion, coins and contraband treasure.

History and Today

Treasure ship recovery has been around for over 100 years, but with advances in technology it has become a highly technical business, focusing on individual wrecks and cargoes, invariably after years of research by dedicated academic researchers. Nevertheless it is a high risk, high return business, resulting in very material profits on successful finds, against often total loss if the Research Files do not lead to the anticipated recovery.

Can we find it? Can we keep it?

Unquestionably there is a huge volume of bullion and treasure on the seabed. The challenge is to find it and then keep sufficient of it to make fortunes for the search and recovery teams and their investors.

Decision-making to search for a particular wreck

This is based upon the content of the Research File, which will indicate the depth, search box area cost of the search, current day value of the cargo, estimated cost of recovery, plus an assessment of the judicial procedure in the country concerned of establishing ownership and the minimum value likely to be retained by the search company. The decision guideline is that the anticipated profit to the company should be ten times the total costs of the operation, but not less than five times after payment and recovery of all costs.