Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform reported that one third of shibreaking yards in Bangladesh continued their operations, exposing workers to health risks.
In addition, at least three workers were severely injured at yards in Bangladesh between April and June, one of them reportedly at an unauthorized shipreaking yard while another during ‘ an illegal night shift at Jumuna Ship Breakers yard’, the platform said.
Although the majority of the shipbreaking yards lifted the lockdown measures and resumed operations on June 1, the Economic Times reported, at the end of June,that about 30% of the workforce was working at the shipbreaking yards in Alang, India, after around 75% of the migrant workers returned to their home villages in Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. As informed, this has led owners to look at the diamond sector’s unemployed workers from Saurashtra.
Moreover, it is stated that overall 98 ships were broken during the second quarter of 2020, out of which 60 were sold to the beaches of South Asia, data from NGO Shipbreaking Platform shows.
During the quarter, Greek ship owners sold the most ships to South Asian yards, closely followed by Singaporean and South Korean owners.
Almost one third of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the registries of Comoros, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach, the Q2 report from the platform reads.