Ingvild Jenssen, Executive Director and Founder of NGO Shipbreaking Platform commented that the harm caused by beaching is real.

The figures of 2018 are shocking. No ship owner can claim to be unaware of the dire conditions at the beaching yards, still they massively continue to sell their vessels to the worst yards to get the highest price for their ships.

Moreover, she continued that in breaching yards workers risk their lives and suffer from exposure to toxics. Also, the coastal ecosystems are devastated. Ship owners are responsible to selling to recycling yards that invest in their workers and environment.

In 2018 34 workers lost their lives.

In addition, at least 14 workers died in Alang, making 2018 one of one of the worse years for Indian yards in terms of accident records in the last decade.

Another 20 workers died and 12 workers were severely injured in the Bangladeshi yards.

In Pakistan, local sources confirmed 1 death and 27 injuries. Seven injuries were linked to yet another fire that broke out on-board a beached tanker.

Credit: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Moreover, NGO reported that based on data platforms the United Arab Emirates, Greece and the US top the list of country dumpers in 2018.

  • UAE owners were responsible for the highest absolute number of ships sold to South Asian shipbreaking yards in 2018 – 61 ships in total.
  • Greek owners beached 57 vessels out of a total of 66 sold for demolition
  • American owners closely followed with 53 end-of-life vessels broken up on South Asian tidal mudflats.

Also, the South Korean liner Sinokor Merchant Marine is the 'worst corporate dumper' according to NGO platform. The company sold 11 ships for breaking on the beaches in 2018; eight vessels ended up in Bangladesh and three in India.

Norwegian Nordic American Tankers last year reported profit of USD 80 million from the sale of eight vessels for breaking; three were sold to Alang for breaking and five were sold to breakers in Chittagong.

Furthermore, NGO highlighted an increase in offshore units that have gone for scrap.

Out of the 138 oil and gas units which have been identified as demolished in 2018 alone, 96 ended up on the beaches of South Asia.

In order to reduce shipping beaching, banks, pension funds and other financial institutions are actively taking a closer look at how they might contribute to a shift towards better ship recycling practices off the beach, taking into account social and environmental criteria, not just financial returns, when selecting asset values or clients.

Nicola Mulinaris, Communication and Policy Officer at NGO Shipbreaking Platform addressed that

Clean and safe solutions are already available. Responsible ship owners ... recycle their vessels off the beach. The EU maintains a list of clean and safe ship recycling facilities. More ships need to be diverted towards these sites.