Treating toxic waste is very expensive. So, some less than savoury companies hire ships to carry their waste and then… the ship mysteriously sinks! Who could imagine? To bring light to this issue, a new mash-up of shipping data exposes some questionable losses. “In Fondo Al Mar“, or At the Bottom of the Sea, illustrates the ships, their contents and their location of sinking. Ships contained marble (which is used to hide nuclear waste), toxic sludge and various mining ores – great fish food.
Not only do fish die, but there are numerous reports of hazardous waste leading to civil strife. There are numerous reports (and another) that nuclear waste was dumped off the coast of Somalia, leading to a die off of fish. The fisherman, having little other choice, turned to piracy.
From Al Jazeera News,
Nick Nuttall, a UNEP spokesman, told Al Jazeera that when the barrels were smashed open by the force of the waves, the containers exposed a “frightening activity” that has been going on for more than decade.
“Somalia has been used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste starting in the early 1990s, and continuing through the civil war there,” he said.
“European companies found it to be very cheap to get rid of the waste, costing as little as $2.50 a tonne, where waste disposal costs in Europe are something like $1000 a tonne.
Not only does hazardous waste kill marine life and ecosystems, it can destroy human societies as well.