The High Court of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh declared the import, beaching and breaking of the FPSO North Sea Producer illegal, following the NGO’s Shipbreaking Platform member organisation Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) Public Interest Litigation against the producer.
According to new data released by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, on January 30, 744 large ocean-going commercial vessels were sold to the scrap yards in 2018. 518 out of these vessels, were broken down on tidal mudflats in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, amounting to a record-breaking 90,4% of the gross tonnage dismantled globally.
Toxic Watch Alliance, an environmental NGO, has pointed out the indifference of the Narendra Modi-led government in looking the other way as end-of-life ships from other countries, many of them carrying banned toxic and other hazardous substances, continue to be dismantled in the ship-breaking yards of Alang in Gujarat, India. Consequently, Dereo O’Brien, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, sent a letter to Trinamool Congress MP in Rajya Sabha.
Seatrade sentence by a Dutch court in March, on the basis of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation, sends a very clear message that any intentional violation of this regulation will no longer go overlooked, argued Ms. Alexandra Mikelis, Associate Solicitor, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.
In its recently published figures for the second quarter of 2018, NGO Shipbreaking Platform informed that a total of 220 ships were dismantled, 169 of which were sold to South Asian recycling yards for ‘dirty and dangerous breaking’. Also in this period, a total of 8 deaths and 9 injuries were recorded in these yards.
India has dismantled 300 vessels in 2016, Bangladesh 220, Pakistan 140 and China 70. However, as far as gross tonnage is concerned, Bangladesh leads the way, having dismantled over nine million tonnes. The regulation complies with the Hong Kong convention, which was adopted by IMO in 2009.
Beaching is considered to be one of the harshest and most dangerous jobs in the world; it is the shipbreaking on beaches in India, Bangladesh or Pakistan, where regulatory mechanisms are weak, ignoring basic safety rules, where labour force is cheap and respect for the environment barely non-existent. EU has a moral responsibility to protect workers’ rights also outside Europe.
The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has welcomed its first-ever Italian member organization, Legambiente, a non-profit association for the safeguard of the environment and for the promotion of sustainability.
ECSA has published a report on their visit to the Alang shipbreaking yards in India last April. However, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform criticises the report for ignoring the many grave shortcomings of the beaching method.
Video shows Petter Heier,CEO of Grieg Green, offering ship owners an alternative to the controversial “beaching” method to demolish ships.
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