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A ship graveyard or ship cemetery is a location where the hulls of scrapped ships are left to decay and disintegrate, or left in reserve. Such a practice is now less common due to waste regulations and so some dry docks where ships are broken (to recycle their metal and remove dangerous materials like asbestos) are also known as ship graveyards.
By analogy, the phrase can also refer to a large number of shipwrecks which have accumulated in a single area but not been removed by human agency, instead being left to disintegrate naturally. These can form in places where navigation is difficult or dangerous (such as the Seven Stones, off Cornwall, or Blackpool, on the Irish Sea); or where a large number of ships have been deliberately scuttled together (as with the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow); or where a large number of ships have been sunk in battle (such as Ironbottom Sound, in the pacific).
List of ship graveyards
- On the River Rance
- Magouër (Plouhinec, Morbihan)
- Plouhinec, Finistère
- The River Tamar downstream of the Saltash Bridge used to be used as a mooring site for mothballed vessels, including submarines, of the Royal Navy. These have now all been removed.
- Portsmouth Harbour hosts a number of ex Royal Navy vessels, awaiting removal for scrapping.
- Forton Lake in Gosport, near Portsmouth, is host to approximately thirty vessels, several of which saw action in the Second World War.
- The US Navy "phantom fleet" at Suisun Bay, to the north of San Francisco Bay
- Witte's Marine Salvage - the Staten Island boat graveyard.
- Bikini Atoll was designated as a ship graveyard for the U.S. Pacific fleet; it later became known as a nuclear testing facility.
- Mallows Bay, Maryland.
- Green Jacket Shoal, Rhode Island
- Wrecks all along the peninsular coast at Nouadhibou
- Several locations near the Aral Sea
- The ship-breaking yards of Alang (India), Chittagong (Bangladesh), and Gadani Beach (Pakistan)
All states and territories of Australia, except the land-locked Australian Capital Territory, have ships' graveyards
- Stockton Breakwater (Newcastle)
- Homebush Bay Ships' Graveyard (Sydney)
- Pindimar Bay Ships' Graveyard/The Duckhole (Myall Lakes)
- Darwin Harbour East Arm
- Bishop Island Ships' Graveyard (Brisbane)
- Tangalooma Ships' Graveyard (Moreton Island)
- The Bulwer Wrecks (Moreton Island)
- Curtin Artificial Reef
- Port Adelaide and environs - sites at Mutton Cove, Jervois Basin, Garden Island, Angas Inlet and Broad Creek.
- Port Augusta
- Port Flinders
- Port Pirie
- Planned scuttling sites near Ardrossan, Cowell, Glenelg, Goat Island, Kangaroo Island, Port Noarlunga, Port Stanvac, Stenhouse Bay, Whyalla and Yankalilla Bay.
- Little Betsey Island Ships' Graveyard (Hobart)
- East Risdon Ships' Graveyard (Hobart)
- Strahan Ships' Graveyard (Strahan)
- Tamar Island Ships' Graveyard (Launceston)
- Barwon Heads Ships' Graveyard (Port Phillip Bay)
- Careening Bay Ships' Graveyard
- Rottnest Island Ships' Graveyard (off Rottnest Island)
- Jervoise Bay Ships' Graveyard
- Albany Ships' Graveyard (Albany)
- United States Coast Pilot. 3 (43rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Ocean Service. 2010. p. 313. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- (South Australian) ‘Ships Graveyards’ at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/Heritage/Heritage_places_areas/Ships_graveyards, retrieved 12/06/2012.
- ‘Port Adelaide’ (Ships Graveyards) at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/Heritage/Heritage_places_areas/Ships_graveyards/Locations/Port_Adelaide, retrieved 13/06/2013.
- Hartell, Robyn; Richards, Nathan (2001). Garden Island, Ships's Graveyard. Heritage SA, Department for Environment and Heritage. pp. 1–6. ISBN 0-7308-5894-4.
- "Port Adelaide (Ships' Graveyards)". South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- Richards, Nathan (1997). "The History and Archaeology of the Garden Island Ships' Graveyard, North Arm of the Port River, Port Adelaide, South Australia (Honours thesis, BA(Hons), Archaeology)" (PDF). Flinders University of South Australia. pp. 26–30. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- 'Port Augusta' (Ships graveyards' at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/Heritage/Heritage_places_and_areas/Ships_graveyards/Location_of_ships%E2%80%99_graveyards/Port_Augusta, retrieved 12/06/2012.
- 'Port Flinders' at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/Heritage/Heritage_places_and_areas/Ships_graveyards/Location_of_ships%E2%80%99_graveyards/Port_Flinders, retrieved 12/06/2012.
- 'Port Pirie (Ships graveyards) at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/Heritage/Heritage_places_and_areas/Ships_graveyards/Location_of_ships%E2%80%99_graveyards/Port_Pirie, retrieved 12/06/2012
- ‘Location of ships’ graveyards’ at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/Heritage/Heritage_places_areas/Ships_graveyards/Locations, retrieved 12/06/2012.