14 February 2013 - Europe: ‘A record-breaking number of 365 toxics-laden ships were sent for breaking by European ship owners to the beaches of South Asia in 2012,’ according to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. This represents a 75% increase from 2011 when a total of 210 EU-owned ships were sent for breaking in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, it states.
According to the NGO, Greece once again led the way in 2012 by shipping 167 vessels to South Asian beaches. ‘That’s nearly half of all ships sent by European ship owners in 2012,’ the platform underlines. Germany was next on 48 vessels, followed by ship owners from the UK (30 vessels), Norway (23 vessels), Cyprus (13 vessels), Bulgaria (8 vessels), Denmark (6 vessels) and the Netherlands (5 vessels).
Meanwhile, Italian ship owners sent three times more ships in 2012 than the year before while MSC, the main Swiss containership and cruise ship company, consigned 23 vessels in 2012 compared to only five in 2011.
‘Despite the possibility of proper disposal in Europe or other developed countries, the vast majority of European shipping companies continue to profit by having their ships broken cheaply and dangerously on the beaches of South Asia,’ observes Patrizia Heidegger, Executive Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. The EU must adopt mechanisms to prevent European ship owners from exporting toxic ships for breaking in developing countries, she insists.