What happens to old cargo ships?



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    The federal Maritime Administration has a ship disposal strategy in place that consists of four different methods: domestic recycling, artificial reefing, donations, and the SINKEX program. The administration has contracts with seven different domestic ship recylers, and an international convention adopted this year provides rules and regulations to ensure the proper disposal of hazardous materials. Coastal states, U.S. territories, and foreign governments can apply to the government for the use of old ships as reefs. Old ships are sometimes reused as memorials or museums, or restored for use in non-profit humanitarian missions. Finally, the SINKEX program is a joint venture between the Navy and administration that uses the ships for “sink-at-sea live-fire” training missions.

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