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Shipbreaking is the act of disassembling a ship for disposal and recycling after the ship has overspent its useful lifespan.



Many ships built 30-40 years ago have reached the end of their useful life and now need to be disposed of or recycled, but in the last 30 years there are many onboard substances that have been banned by governments causing the task of shipbreaking to be outsourced to developing nations, where environmental restrictions are less stringent and workers are paid much less.

Active Shipbreaking countries

  • India
  • Bangladesh
  • Pakistan
  • Dubai

Alternative Methods

Although shipbreaking can recover up to 98% of the material onboard a ship there are other alternatives that may be less invasive on the environment and safer for workers.

  • Vessels can be stripped clean and sunk as artificial reefs and dive sites
  • Vessels can be brought ashore or built into a wharf to serve as a hotel or restaurant
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