Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics

Document Type

Research Article


Ship breaking is comparatively a sustainable business, particularly in the developing world, but the conditions where it is practiced is non-sustainable. Ship breaking is the process of dismantling ships and selling their parts - primarily the steel - for scrap. The main impetus for breaking a ship down is that maintenance costs go up as a ship ages. Shipping companies also have to pay port charges, crew salaries and oil fees for their ships, so when they are no longer economically viable they are sold to ship recyclers who strip the old ships down, salvaging anything of value. Bangladesh is one of the top ship recycling countries in the world. Ship breaking is becoming increasingly important economically in the country. In the developing world, ship breaking not only employs thousands of people in breaking down a ship, but the materials produced are also important to other industries, such as re-rolling steel plants. However, it is deadly too. Despite having huge employment opportunities and material supplies, it costs high in terms of environmental degradation and human health. It is reported that most of the ship recyclers avoid ‘polluters pay’ and other principles. Ship breaking activities are being practiced in the coastal areas of Bangladesh and have gained importance in the macro and micro-economy of poverty stricken Bangladesh. If this sector take some eco-friendly steps in compliance with the principles of blue economy and overcome challenges it will be a big and sustainable industry in future. This chapter explored the background of this migrant industry along with existing realities, practices, legal regulations, problems and prospects, and suggests some voluntary guidelines connecting ‘blue economy’ concept associated with this industry in Bangladesh.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.