Out of the 144 end-of-life ships which were sold for breaking in the third quarter of 2016, 85 percent ended up on South Asian beaches, according to the data collected and analysed by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
This percentage of shipbreaking activities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India made this quarter “one of the worst in the last years in terms of the small percentage of ships recycled in non-beaching yards,” the Platform said.
Out of 122 vessels that reached the shores of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh this quarter, bulk carriers counted the highest number, adding 41 ships to the total of 293 bulk carriers broken so far this year. India was the preferred final destination between July and September 2016.
EU-based shipping companies were the last beneficial owners of 52 ships sold to South Asia in the third quarter of 2016. For the first time, German owners topped the list with 25 ships sold to South Asian breakers, followed by Greek owners that sold 17.
Chinese and South Korean owners also rank high on the list all selling several vessels to Bangladesh.
Whilst grey and black listed flags, such as Comoros and St Kitts and Nevis, continue to be particularly popular for end-of-life ships, also ships registered under the flags of Germany, Malta and Sweden ended up on the South Asian beaches.
The new EU Regulation on Ship Recycling will prohibit the dismantling of EU-flagged ships in substandard yards. However, by flagging out to a non-EU flag before selling the ship for scrap, ship owners can easily circumvent EU law, NGO Shipbreaking Platform said.
40 ships, including two Cyprus flagged ships, one German and one Greek flagged ships, changed their flag just weeks before hitting the beach.
During the three-month period, three fatal accidents and one injury were recorded in Chittagong. Another fatal accident occurred at a yard in Alang, India, when a worker fell into a tank, according to the Platform.
However, November was marked by an explosion at Pakistan’s Gadani shipbreaking yard, which took the lives of at least 26 people, while over 60 workers were injured. Following the incident aboard an oil tanker which was being dismantled at the yard, all shipbreaking activities were suspended in Gadani while investigations are underway.