Polluting Shipbreaking Practices Threaten Ghanian Shores

In light of the recent infrastructure developments taking place at its main ports of Tema and Takoradi, Ghana is aiming to become the main integrated maritime hub of the west African subregion. Yet, certain unregulated practices, such as the demolition of end-of -life vessels, still represent a threat for the ecosystem and the health of the quarter of the country’s population that lives along the coast.

Polluting Shipbreaking Practices Threaten Ghanian Shores
Credits: Ship Breaking Platform

Due to the weak enforcement of environmental legislation, low labour costs and occupational safety standards, and the absence of a legal framework covering the recycling of obsolete vessels, dozens of ships have been arbitrarily dumped on Ghanian shores in the last years.

Evans Ago Tetteh, PhD Adjunct Lecturer at the Regional Maritime University in Accra, recently reported on the present situation of ship demolition in Ghana, and provided evidence on the environmental harm caused on the beaches of Kpone by the spillage of hazardous substances, such as marine diesel oil. Some of the toxic vessels beached in Ghana have European ties. It is the case of the refrigerated cargo ship NAFTILOS, which was owned by Greek company Fairport Shipping Ltd and which maritime databases still list as laid-up.

“Ship demolition is causing marine pollution in Kpone and the surrounding towns. Because of the marine oils released into the sea, the fish stock is being depleted, making local fishermen poorer. ”
Evans Ago Tetteh – PhD Adjunct Lecturer – Regional Maritime University of Accra

Reference: Ship Breaking Platform

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