People, Environment

DOE Opposes Ship Breaking

DOE Opposes Ship BreakingDOE Opposes Ship Breaking

Despite the increasing demand for ship breaking, the Department of Environment is opposed to the environmentally harmful practice, a deputy at the department has said.

“Due to the polluting nature of the practice and numerous environmental issues associated with the industry, the department staunchly opposes ship breaking,” Parvin Farshchi, deputy for marine environment at DOE, told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday.

Ship breaking, or demolition, involves the breaking up of ships for either a source of parts, which can be sold for reuse, or for the extraction of raw materials, chiefly scrap.

Although a lucrative industry, ship breaking is practiced in only five countries: China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Turkey.

Farshchi said most of the world is opposed to the practice to preserve the environment, because ship breaking eventually leads to air, soil and water pollution.

Despite the department’s disinclination to allow the practice, the official conceded that DOE might have to compromise and issue permits in future.

“A priority of the government is to exploit Arvandroud River (which runs along the Iran-Iraq border and into the Persian Gulf) to expand its maritime activities, but the presence of around 270 ship wrecks in the water has obstructed progress,” she said.

To address the problem, DOE may have to start issuing permits for ship breaking.

“We have already begun surveying the coasts to find the most suitable area for the practice,” she said, adding that environmental conservation is the department’s top priority.

Recalling Turkey’s claims that they have significantly reduced the environmental impact of ship breaking, Farshchi said experts from DOE will visit Turkish sites to “gain a better insight into their techniques”.