When you think of ship graveyard, what comes to mind? A bunch of ships piled on top of each other in a junkyard maybe? Well in the city of Nouadhibou, you will find a ship graveyard, but this one consists of hundreds of ships full of rust floating in the water, while some of them are on the beach as well. Nouadhibou is the second largest city in Mauritania, which can be found in western North Africa. This is the country’s commercial center. So why are all of these ships just abandoned and left to die? Apparently the Mauritanian harbor officers were taking bribes which was allowing companies to abandon their ships in the harbor and all around the bay. This started to become noticeable in the 1980s, after the nationalization of the Mauritanian fishing industry. Fishing ships that weren’t making much money or were using old vessels found it a very convenient place to set it and forget it.
I don’t know how I feel about this. It seems like having abandoned ships floating in the bay and sitting on the beach could have some long-term environmental issues. I understand that this was the inexpensive way out, but maybe selling the parts and scrap metal for money would be a better option. I’m sure everyone has an opinion on what should have been done, but it may be too far past the point since there are now hundreds of ships abandoned throughout this area.