It always makes me laugh when I notice the same people who are having a canary about seeing child labour in dangerous conditions dismantling old ships are usually the very same people jumping up and down about high ferry fares ect.
The reason most end of life ships are sent to these places is because of cheap labour , loose labour laws and non-existent health and safety regulations , while it is possible to dismantle and recycle ships within the EU where health and safety , labour laws and enviromental protections are tight , the cost involved is very high , and generally considered not profitable within Europe due to the value of the materials recovered against the recovery cost. Ship breaking is by its very nature a very dangerous operation , in order to do it properly and safely it is very expensive.
The bottom line is that the consumer (through constantly demanding lower fares) is unwilling to pay the cost of properly disposing of end of life ships , in my opinion EU states make more than enough money from fuel duties and other taxes on ships to justify proper disposal of the machinery at end of life , a subsidised ship recycling program across the EU would not only create thousands of jobs in industries that badly need them , it would also reduce enviromental impact on the oceans as it would be clean regulated disposal , reduce European imports of steel and other materials thereby reducing EU carbon footprint , would encourage technological development of European shipbuilding through design innovation to assist materials recovery at end of life , and most importantly of all , it would allow the bleeding hearts brigade to sleep easier at night secure in the knowledge that the ship they have just traveled on will be broken up by a professional well paid adult with the latest safety equipment and not by an underpaid unskilled child in a far away country with no safety equipment at all.
Until this issue is addressed we will not only continue to see ships broken up in a questionable manor , but we will also continue to see ships just dumped at sea , left to rot in lay up ports or as is the case in Canada , just dumped in the ocean by unofficial means.