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Background to The Ghost Fleet
Background to The Ghost Fleet

Ghost Fleet History

In 2003 a fleet of decomissioned naval ships called the MothBall Fleet became the subject of attention internationally. These toxic decaying hulks stationed on the James River in Virginia, became known as the James River Ghost Ships.  Containing oil, PCB gases and asbestos they posed a threat to the local community. The Bush administration's decision to have many of them destroyed outside of the USA posed a larger threat as they could have potentially broken up at sea so causing a major environmental disaster to marine life and further communities worldwide.

The threat to the Ocean

As Greenpeace and other environmentalists got involved the wider picture of this threat became significant as initially thirteen of these ships were destined to be destroyed in Hartlepool. Eventually four came to Teeside. My request to photograph them was refused  due to the danger of their highly toxic framework. Many other ships were towed to Chittagong Bangladesh where shipbreaking facilities are outside of international standards of safety.

From Ghost Fleet to wider Marine Issues

My response to these monumental decomposing vessels has been heartfelt as they were eventually towed to their respective graveyards. But the chasm that has opened as a result of this, has served to embrace the dire potential consequesences facing the oceans in our time. The domino affect of-toxic ship to water, water to marine life and eventually human life as the oceans oxygen becomes depleted is a major concern.  Oil spill prevention juxtaposed with other toxic substances is a marine transport problem that needs addressing before it is to late.

Copyright Mary Eighteen Fine Art 2018.
Website by, Photography by Lucy Badham (07973-629297)