Ship-breaking is widely known as a colossally dangerous and polluting activity. Bangladesh has emerged as the market leader in ship-breaking, producing the highest amount of steel from recycling End of Life ships owned by global owners. Economic contribution of ship-breaking in Bangladesh has been well documented from the report published under the auspicious of the Government and the International Governmental Agencies, but significant controversy exists to prove those data. In absence of detailed scientific investigation, uncertainty remains about the extent this industry is adversely impacting the coastal environments of Bangladesh. Notably, there is a huge polarization of data, and claim exists in the current body of literature in all these areas which oftentimes appear diametrically opposite. No substantial work about the social and human cost involved in ship-breaking in Bangladesh has, to date, been carried out from the level of government or from the level of any international organizations. Crafting policy and law by the government based on refutable or untested data seems unsustainable.
This article takes the view that any programs of law or policy making should stand up to rigorous testing before substantial public money is spent on them. Importantly, scientific knowledge which is unbiased and representative of the viewpoints of multiple stakeholders creates more impact than the one put forward owing solely to their credibility or salience. The article postulates that little attention has been given to provide scientific underpinning of knowledge by engaging important stakeholders in the making of policy and law on ship-breaking
arena of Bangladesh. The issues of negative externalities remained unexplored. Against a backdrop of such political fervency, the contribution of the domestic laws of ship recycling in Bangladesh to ensure safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships would not only remain insignificant but also questionable.