Ship owners continue dangerous shipbreaking practises on South Asian beaches

4 February 2016 (Last Updated February 4th, 2016 18:30)

NGO Shipbreaking Platform data has revealed that the majority of ship owners continued dangerous shipbreaking practises on South Asian beaches in 2015, refuting the environmental and humanitarian standards.

Shipbreaking

NGO Shipbreaking Platform data has revealed that the majority of ship owners continued dangerous shipbreaking practises on South Asian beaches in 2015, refuting the environmental and humanitarian standards.

In a bid to earn lucrative profit, certain shipbuilding industries sell their non-functional ships to the shipbreaking yards through cash-buyers who assure the best price in the market, as well as relieve the seller from any post ship management liabilities.

According to the new report, the South Asian beaches account for 768 large ocean-going vessels sold to the scrap yards with 469 of it dismantled on the beaches of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, where the shipbreaking yards flout fundamental labour rights, ignore international waste trade law and environmental protection standards.

NGO Shipbreaking Platform director Patrizia Heidegger said: "Despite a lot of international attention on the problems of ship breaking on the beaches of South Asia, the statistics for 2015 show that the vast majority of ship owners have not changed their practice for the better.

"On the contrary, most have opted for one of the worst ship breaking destinations in the world, Bangladesh, where children are still illegally exploited to break ships manually on tidal mudflats."

"Most have opted for one of the worst ship breaking destinations in the world, Bangladesh, where children are still illegally exploited to break ships manually on tidal mudflats."

Such unfair trade practises had claimed the life of four ship breaking workers last year in a gas explosion at Shitol Enterprise, a shipbreaking yard in Bangladesh when they were breaking a ship sold to them by the Greek shipping company Universal Ship Management Corporation.

Bangladesh is said to be the highest receipt of scrap ships.

However, a group of ship-owners, investors like ABN-Amro and cargo-owners H&M, Stora Enso and Phillips, have undertaken measures to resort to safe and clean end-of-life management of ships and are exploring options for alternatives to achieve the same.

The EU is anticipated to enlist approved ship recycling facilities across the globe by the end of 2016, which will allow ships flagged under the EU to avail the facility at the approved site, as well as the non-EU flagged ships which can opt for the service on a voluntary basis.


Image: Illustration of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform data. Photo: courtesy of NGO Shipbreaking Platform.