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.
NGO ShipBreaking Platform
Ahead of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation entering onto force from 31 December 2018, ECSA noted that the current edition of the EU list of approved ship recycling facilities only features yards situated in Europe and has a capacity of around 300.000 LDT, which is far away from the 2.5 million LDT mentioned in the Regulation.
On Monday, the EU member states’ experts on ship recycling met in Brussels to discuss the latest developments, six months ahead of the application of the 2013 Ship Recycling Regulation, with a special focus on China’s recent decision to stop the import of end-of-life ships for scrapping, which is expected to affect shipbreaking industry.
Pollutant and dangerous scrapping has been a key area of concern for Pakistani ship recycling industry. As in India and Bangladesh, the yards in Gadani operate directly on the beach, without any impermeable and drained working areas to protect the sea and sand from pollution.
Dirty and dangerous shipbreaking practices in Bangladesh have been strongly criticized both by global NGOs for many years, with marine pollution, hazardous waste dumping and unsafe working conditions, as well as the illegal exploitation of child workers, being among the key areas of concern.
The issue of unsustainable ship recycling, with hazardous working practices and environmental pollution, mostly in Southeast Asian yards, has been for several years a key area of concern for global NGOs and the international shipping industry. The problem in Alang was first documented by Greenpeace in 1998.
Death rate in Southeast Asian shipbreaking yards for 2018 has so far seen an upsurge, with 10 fatalities and 2 serious injuries in Chittagong alone, according to figures published by NGO Shipbreaking Platform for the first quarter of the year. There was a total of 206 ships broken in Q1 2018, 152 of which were sold to the beaches of South Asia for dirty and dangerous breaking.
The Rotterdam District Court sentenced, under EU Waste Shipment Regulation, the shipping company Seatrade for illegal export of vessels sent for scrapping on the beaches of South Asia. This was the first time a European shipping company was held criminally liable for having sold vessels for scrap to substandard shipbreaking yards in India and Bangladesh.
835 large ocean-going commercial vessels were sold to the scrap yards through 2017, 543 of which were broken down on beaches of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan: amounting to 80,3% of all tonnage dismantled globally, according to data released by NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
The Dutch Public Prosecutor is bringing criminal charges against Groningen-based Seatrade, for having sold vessels to scrap yards in countries “where current ship dismantling methods endanger the lives and health of workers and pollute the environment”. This is the first time Public Prosecutors are bringing criminal charges against a shipowner.
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