A total of 155 ships were sold to South Asian shipbreaking beaches in the first quarter of 2021, where a total of nine workers lost their lives, latest figures by NGO Shipbreaking Platform reveal.
n its quarterly report issued Wednesday, the Platform informs there were a total of 204 ships broken in the first quarter of 2021. Of these, 155 ships were sold to the beaches of South Asia (76%), where conditions are known to put workers’ lives and the environment at risk.
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Greek shipowners sold the most ships to South Asian yards, closely followed by Japanese, UAE and South Korean owners, the report also reveals.
Meanwhile, almost one-third of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the registries of Comoros, Gabon, Palau and St. Kitt s and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach. These flags are not typically used during the operational life of ships and offer “last voyage registration” discounts.
In addition, the report informs of the upcoming expansion of Alang shipbreaking yard in 2024. The Indian Finance Ministry announced that the shipbreaking capacity in Alang will be extended by 2024 to capture 50% of the global ship recycling business.
According to the Ministry, 90 shipbreaking yards in Gujarat are operating in line with the Hong Kong Convention standards. The Hong Kong Convention has, however, been strongly criticized for simply rubberstamping status quo and not setting standards that will ensure safe and environmentally sound practices.
It does not ban beaching and sets no requirements, beyond compliance with national standards, for the management and disposal of hazardous wastes,
…NGO Shipbreaking Platform notes.