The city of Nouadhibou is the second largest city in Mauritania and serves as the country’s commercial center. The port of Nouadhibou is the final resting place of over 300 ships which were abandoned by their owners. These ships rusting in the shallow waters has given the port of Nouadhibou the notorious name of being the world’s largest ship graveyard. Unlike the en masse arrival of ships at Mallows Bay, here the number of craft has built up over time, as corrupt officials accepted bribes from boat owners to allow them to dump their vessels in the area.
The phenomenon started in the 80’s after the nationalization of the Mauritanian fishing industry, numerous uneconomical ships were simply abandoned there. Discarding a ship is quite expensive for a company, so during the decades, lots of unwanted ships ended up in the Harbour of Nouadibou.
A few years ago, the situation was so out of control, that even Mauritanians started to worry. Nowadays there’s a project from the European Union to refloat all these junk ships and take them away, or destroy the remaining wrecks.