With the planned repeal of the Treasure Trove Act, Nova Scotia hopes to get treasure hunters to take their hands off of its booty.

Come September, the term “treasure” — defined as metals or precious stones — will be struck, and the act, the only one of its kind in Canada and which paid hunters for their finds, will disappear.

“This will mean that people can still look and conduct heritage research on shipwrecks,” said Michael Macdonald, executive director of the mineral resources branch at the Department of Natural Resources.

“But any materials that are found will be deemed to be owned by the Crown.”

A spokesman at the Ministry of Natural Resources said that no further treasure trove licences will be distributed after December to hunt around Nova Scotia’s 10,000 shipwrecks.

Instead, the emphasis will be on preserving the province’s cultural heritage.

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