So what went wrong?[/QUOTE]
The 200 mph maglev train of corporate public image ran smack into the immovable object of economic reality.
In any attempt at public shaming, it will all be revealed to be perfectly legal and that V Ships supports the ship breaking rules such as they are. In fact they will also point out how they comply with MARPOL Annex VI (indeed all of MARPOL) so they are fighting the good fight of keeping the oceans clean every day of the ships life. Soon they will take on an attitude of righteous indignation as they call for tighter rules on the recycling operators themselves. “You see we did everything by the book but the breakers are not holding up their end”. Perhaps they will eventually send bottled water and surplus cheese doodles to the victims with a 10 page, 8-point font, single spaced disclaimer that such water does not constitute any admission of guilt in any existing or future legal action.
Corporate vision statements, mission statements and core values be what they may, in the end they will lack the simple will to act according to those lofty words they probably paid a consultant to craft for them. Only V Ships can answer if their corporate culture and structure is such that living up to their statements is even possible.
There have been attempts to raise the general public awareness of this issue (google ship breaking expose) but the only thing the public seems less interested in than the maritime industry in general is the disposal of ships themselves. Perhaps a reality show or sitcom set in a breaking yard would capture the public’s attention for a little while but whether even that would spur them to action is doubtful as it is (seemingly) so far removed from their every day lives.
I am not advocating for the status quo above. I only feel that this is the present reality. It is a disgraceful situation in many ways but I doubt there is much motivation for ship owners to voluntarily take action to correct it. The idea of a deposit could be fleshed out. Like a per ship capital sinking fund built up over time to cover responsible disposal costs in the future. The funds contributed could be tax free or something. The funds held in escrow so future sales of ships or companies could not raid the funds. Guarantee future contributions by tying it to monitoring and PSC enforcement. No up to date disposal account, no entry or detention. The funds could be paid out only to ship breaking companies that meet certain levels of performance (environmental and worker safety) as certified by IMO or some other group. Maybe it could only work if set up as a non-profit. Multi-national buy in and sponsoring of the yard management/operations. Profits from scrap sales plowed back in to the yard facilities, PPE, equipment etc. Or surplus going to a profit sharing scheme to offset future contributions for ship owners.
You see how big and complex a solution could be? How it would involve international players and governments? How there would be bureaucratic costs and inefficiencies built in to it? Seems a big mess to me. Then again the first step is to admit you have a problem. But I do wish you well on the crusade!