Hellenic Shipping News – Danish Shipowners’ Association spearheads discussion on shipbreaking and recycling in London

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4 November 2015 - A panel of maritime experts will discuss how the shipping industry can scrap and recycle ships without adversely impacting people and the environment in London this week – headed by Maria Bruun Skipper from the Danish Shipowners’ Association (DSA).

Each year more than 1,500 ships are scrapped and recycled – the vast majority are dismantled in South Asia, as tidal conditions and steel prices in the region make shipbreaking activities attractive. The number of ships to be scrapped and recycled will continue to grow in the coming years. Therefore, a discussion of shipbreaking methods is highly important and much needed, according to Head of Safety, Health, Environment and Innovation for the DSA Mrs Bruun Skipper.

She said: “Shipbreaking has been a problematic issue for many years now. Journalists and the media have covered unpleasant images of ships being dismantled under absolutely horrendous conditions, which has caused many to avoid the topic, as it easily becomes quite sensitive and not particularly constructive. But we must talk about it – and I am glad to be heading this part of the Shipping & Offshore CSR conference in London.

“Due to the terrible conditions in some parts of the shipbreaking industry, particularly the beaching method in South Asia, many have sought to make responsible shipbreaking a question of geography. But this would be a mistake – while some shipyards in South Asia behave irresponsibly, others do the opposite.

“For example, two Indian shipyards recently earned a statement of compliance from the classification society ClassNK. These two shipyards thereby comply with the rules set out in the Hong Kong Convention. Irresponsible shipbreaking activities can be found around the world. Our mission is to support responsibility – both in South Asia and elsewhere.”
During the Shipping & Offshore CSR Forum in London mRS Bruun Skipper will moderate the discussion by a panel of international maritime experts.

The UN maritime organisation, IMO, adopted the Hong Kong Convention in 2009, establishing standards for the shipbreaking and recycling activities of shipyards and shipping companies. However, just three countries have ratified the convention so far – and, unfortunately, Denmark is not one of them.