I often wondered, back when Prince of Wales was first entered by divers--notably a diver who was not subject to criminal sanction for having entered a Crown War Grave--whether this would open the door to even more egregious intrusion. It's merely a matter of degree between an intrusion and complete salvage in the final analysis although illegal salvage has been occurring since shortly after ships first went to sea.
Never would I have thought of the wholesale dismantlement of, for example, Exeter but that has proven to be the case. In my opinion, while salvage would likely have occurred inevitably--I now anticipate (absent a catastrophe of global climate change and the attendant dislocation of humanity) that the wrecks in Ironbottom Sound (and other sites) may fall to wholesale 'plunder', in spite of the depths in which they're found.
If that is so difficult to--if you'll pardon the pun--fathom, then consider that when USS Quincy twisted to port and plunged by the bow to her watery grave on August 10th '42 who would have anticipated ever seeing her again...certainly not her survivors who made it into the '90's and saw her once again upon Ballard's discovery.
So I see no reason why salvage--were it viable in the future--not to occur...absent, again, a catastrophic wallop to human civilization.
Responses are not allowed!