Monitoring the drastic growth of ship breaking yards in Sitakunda: a threat to the coastal environment of Bangladesh
- 1k Downloads
The vast coastal and marine resources that occur along the southern edge of Bangladesh make it one of the most productive areas of the world. However, due to growing anthropogenic impacts, this area is under considerable environmental pressure from both physical and chemical stress factors. Ship breaking, or the dismantling and demolition of out-of-service ocean-going vessels, has become increasingly common in many coastal areas. To investigate the extent of ship breaking activities in Bangladesh along the Sitakunda coast, various spatial and non-spatial data were obtained, including remote sensing imagery, statistical records and published reports. Impacts to coastal and marine life were documented. Available data show that ship breaking activities cause significant physical disturbance and release toxic materials into the environment, resulting in adverse effects to numerous marine taxonomic groups such as fish, mammals, birds, reptiles, plants, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthic invertebrates. Landsat imagery illustrates that the negatively impacted coastal area has grown 308.7 % from 367 ha in 1989 to 1,133 ha in 2010. Physicochemical and biological properties of coastal soil and water indicate substantially elevated pollution that poses a risk of local, regional and even global contamination through sea water and atmospheric transport. While damage to the coastal environment of Bangladesh is a recognized hazard that must be addressed, the economic benefits of ship breaking through job creation and fulfilling the domestic demand for recycled steel must be considered. Rather than an outright ban on beach breaking of ships, the enterprise must be recognized as a true and influential industry that should be held responsible for developing an economically viable and environmentally proactive growth strategy. Evolution of the industry toward a sustainable system can be aided through reasonable and enforceable legislative and judicial action that takes a balanced approach, but does not diminish the value of coastal conservation.
KeywordsBeach breaking Ship recycling Coastal management Environment monitoring Pollution Remote sensing
We thank the Remote Sensing Group of River Basin Research Center of Gifu University of Japan for their cooperation in this research. Furthermore, the authors are appreciative to the ‘ecoclimbd’ for some of the financial assistance needed to conduct the research interviews, field research and travel for this project. This research was first presented at International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh (ICEAB), Sept. 4, 2010, University of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan, 2010, pp. 234–237. Anonymous reviewers provided valuable suggestions for revision which have greatly improved the quality of the article presented here.
- Abdullah, H. M., Mahboob, M. G., & Biruni, A. A. (2010). Drastic expansion of ship breaking yard in Bangladesh: a cancerous tumor to the coastal environment. Proceedings of the International Conference on Environmental Aspects of Bangladesh (ICEAB), Sept. 4, 2010, University of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan, 2010, pp. 234–237. Available at: http://www.benjapan.org/iceab10/64.pdf. Accessed 15 Jan 2011.
- Apeti, D. A., Whitall, D. R., Pait, A. S., Dieppa, A., Zitello, A. G., & Lauenstein, G. G. (2012). Characterization of land-based sources of pollution in Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico: status of heavy metal concentration in bed sediment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 184, 811–830. doi: 10.1007/s10661-011-2003-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Beaumont, N. J., Austen, M. C., Atkins, J. P., Burdon, D., Degraer, S., Dentinho, T. P., et al. (2007). Identification, definition and quantification of goods and services provided by marine biodiversity: implications for the ecosystem approach. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 54, 253–265. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2006.12.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cairns, J., Jr. (1968). Suspended solids standards for the protection of aquatic organisms. Proc. 22nd Ind. Waste Conf. Purdue University Engineering Bulletin, 129(1), 16–27.Google Scholar
- Chilar, J. (2000). Land cover mapping of large areas from satellites: status and research priorities. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 21(6&7), 1093–1114.Google Scholar
- CZP. (2005). Coastal Zone Policy. Dhaka: Ministry of Water Resources, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Available at: http://www.pmo.gov.bd/pmolib/legalms/pdf/Costal-Zone-Policy-2005.pdf. Accessed 21 Feb 2011.Google Scholar
- Daily Star. (2011). 22 February 2011. Editorial: Ship breaking industry safety must come first. http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=174961. Accessed 22 Feb 2011.
- Department of Environment (DOE). (2007). Bangladesh: national programme of action for protection of the coastal and marine environment from land-based activities. Department of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, p. 52. Available at: http://www.doe-bd.org/npa_draft.pdf Accessed 15 Jan 2011.
- DNT NORSKE VERITAS (DNV). (1999). DNV RN 590 Decommissioning of ships—environmental standards ship breaking practices on site assessment Bangladesh—Chittagong. Technical Report.2000–3158 Norwegian Ministry of Environment, Norwegian Ship Owners Association, Norway.Google Scholar
- Edwards, P. (1980). Report of consultancy at the regional lead center in China for Integ. Fish University Engineering Bulletin, 129(1), 16–27.Google Scholar
- ESCAP/UN. (1987). Coastal environmental management plan for Bangladesh. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP/UN). Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 1987.Google Scholar
- European Commission (EC). (2004). Oil tanker phase out and the ship scrapping industry: A study on the implications of the accelerated phase out scheme of single hull tankers proposed by the EU for the world ship scrapping and recycling industry, European Commission Directorate-General Energy and Transport, pp 169. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/maritime/studies/doc/2004_06_scrapping_study.pdf. Accessed 15 Jan 2012.
- European Commission (EC). (2007). Ship dismantling and pre-cleaning of ships. European Commission Directorate General Environment Report no. 64622-02-1, issue 2. Farming, p. 83.Google Scholar
- Feringa, G. (2005). Ship recycling in Bangladesh—findings of baseline survey. Draft Report to the ILO, Geneva.Google Scholar
- GREENPEACE. (2005). Ship breaking: Toxic waste in disguise- The China connection, GREENPEACE Special Report. Available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/planet-2/report/1999/3/shipbreaking-toxic-waste-in-d.pdf. Accessed 15 Jan 2011.
- Hossain, M. M., & Islam, M. M. (2004). An EIA case study on the abundance and species composition of fish species in and around Ship breaking area, in the coastal area of Chittagong, Bangladesh. (unpublished). Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Chittagong, p. 34.Google Scholar
- Hossain, M. M., & Islam, M. M. (2006). Ship breaking activities and its impact on the coastal zone of Chittagong, Bangladesh: towards sustainable management. Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), Chittagong, Bangladesh. pp ix + 54. Available at: http://www.ypsa.org/publications/Impact.pdf. Accessed 21 Jan 2011.
- International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). (2002). Where do the “floating dustbins” end up? Labor Rights in Ship Breaking Yards in South Asia The cases of Chittagong (Bangladesh) and Alang (India). (Investigative Mission Report). International Federation for Human Rights. No. 348/2, Paris.Google Scholar
- Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA). (2005). Ecosystem and human well-being; synthesis (p. 112). Washington, D.C: Island Press.Google Scholar
- USGS (2011). Landsat Data Continuity Mission [online]. Available from http://landsat.usgs.gov/about_ldcm.php. Accessed 21 Feb 2012.
- NCSG. (2011). S&P Monthly reports of N. Cotzias shipping group. URL: http://www.cotzias.gr. Accessed 15 Jan 2011.
- Pelsy, F. (2008). The blue lady case and the international issue of ship dismantling. Law Environment & Development Journal, 4(2), 135.Google Scholar
- Ronning, M. (2000). Stuck in the mud: On ship breaking labour, condition and environment in Chittagong, Bangladesh. NorWatch Report, (4). Oslo: NorWatch.Google Scholar
- Rousmaniere, P., & Raj, N. (2007). Ship breaking in the developing world: problems and prospects. International Journal of Occupation and Environmental Health, 13, 359–368.Google Scholar
- Shohag, M. (2007). Measurement of the natural and artificial radio activity in soil of Mymensingh district of Bangladesh, M.S. Thesis, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh.Google Scholar
- Siddiquee, N. A. (2004). Impact of ship breaking on marine fish diversity of the Bay of Bengal (p. 46). Dhaka: DFID-SUFER Project.Google Scholar
- Siddiquee, N. A., Parween, S., Quddus, M. M. A., & Barua, P. (2009). Heavy metal pollution in sediments at ship breaking area of Bangladesh. Asian Journal of Water Environment and Pollution, 6(3), 7–12.Google Scholar
- Strogyloudi,E., Angelidis,M.O., Christides,A. & Papathanassiou,E. (2012). Metal concentrations and metallothionein levels in Mytilus galloprovincialis from Elefsis bay (Saronikos gulf, Greece). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. doi: 10.1007/s10661-011-2490-z (in press).
- Vardar, E., Harjono, M. (2002). Ships for scrap V—steel and toxic wastes for Asia. Greenpeace Report on Environmental, Health and Safety Conditions in Aliăga Ship breaking Yards, Izmir, Turkey.Google Scholar
- WARPO (Water Resources Planning Organization). (2004). Living in the coast: people and livelihoods. Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP); Simon Centre (5th Floor), House 4A, Road 22, Gulshan, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh, pp. 3–17.Google Scholar
- YPSA.(2011). Ship breaking in Bangladesh: ship breaking in newspaper. Available online. http://www.shipbreakingbd.info/Newspaper_%20News.html. Accessed 21 Jan 2011.