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What is Ship?

A ship is a large vehicle used to travel on water. It is bigger than a boat. Ships are used for travel, trade and war.

A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep waterways, carrying passengers or goods, or in support of specialized missions, such as defines, research and fishing. Historically, a "ship" was a sailing vessel with at least three square-rigged masts and a full bowsprit. Ships are generally distinguished from boats, based on size, shape and load capacity.

Ships have been important contributors to human migration and commerce. They have supported the spread of colonization and the slave trade, but have also served scientific, cultural, and humanitarian needs. After the 16th century, new crops that had come from and to the Americas via the European seafarers significantly contributed to the world population growth. Ship transport is responsible for the largest portion of world commerce.


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History of Ship:-

Early ships:-The first ships used oars or the wind to make them move.

From about 4000BC the Ancient Egyptians were making wooden sail boats. By 1200BC the Phoenicians and Greeks had begun to make bigger sailing ships which were about 30 metres (100 feet) long and could carry 90-180 tonnes of cargo. The Romans made even bigger ships which could carry up to 1,000 people and 1,000 tonnes of cargo. The 8th century saw the rise of the Vikings, who were famous for their "long ships" and which were mainly used for raiding other countries, but also for trading. The long ships had flat bottoms so they could move in shallow (not deep) rivers.

Age of sail:-Sailing ships were used for thousands of years, but they were very important in wars and trade from the 1500's to the 1800's. The Chinese admiral Zheng He commanded a fleet of 'treasure ships' on seven voyages all over Asia up to East-Africa in the early fifteenth century. These ships probably were about 130 m long and up to 50 m wide. That makes them about twice the size of the largest European ships in the sixteenth century. The most successful and largest fleet in the 17th century was the Dutch fleet (see the Netherlands). For trade and transport the Dutch often used a particular kind of trading ship, called a flute. Transport of people and cargo on sailing ships continued until the 1920's.

The age of steam:-In the 19th century, steam ships were invented.

At one time, the steamships Titanic, Olympic, and Britannic were the largest ships in the world, Titanic sank on her maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg, becoming one of the most famous shipwrecks of all time, the Olympic was Titanic's nearly identical twin, and actually set sail before Titanic and was scrapped in the 1930's after a very successful career including her being a passenger liner and a warship in World War I. The Britannic was the largest of these three sister ships, and was supposed to be more grand and elegant than the Titanic, but before she set sail on her maiden voyage, WWI broke out and she was stripped of her elegant furniture and elaborate panelling and became a hospital ship. During her term as a hospital ship, she was sunk by either a mine or torpedo, no one knows for sure. The Titanic lies at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Nova Scotia, and the Britannic lies in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of the Island of Kea.

21st century:-In 2007, the world's fleet included 34,882 commercial vessels with gross tonnage of more than 1,000 tons, totalling 1.04 billion tons. These ships carried 7.4 billion tons of cargo in 2006, a sum that grew by 8% over the previous year. In terms of tonnage, 39% of these ships are tankers, 26% are bulk carriers, 17% container ships and 15% were other types.

In 2002, there were 1,240 warships operating in the world, not counting small vessels such as patrol boats. The United States accounted for 3 million tons worth of these vessels, Russia 1.35 million tons, the United Kingdom 504,660 tons and China 402,830 tons. The 20th century saw many naval engagements during the two world wars, the Cold War, and the rise to power of naval forces of the two blocs. The world's major powers have recently used their naval power in cases such as the United Kingdom in the Falkland Islands and the United States in Iraq.

The size of the world's fishing fleet is more difficult to estimate. The largest of these are counted as commercial vessels, but the smallest are legion. Fishing vessels can be found in most seaside villages in the world. As of 2004, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated 4 million fishing vessels were operating worldwide. The same study estimated that the world's 29 million fishermen caught 85,800,000 tonnes (84,400,000 long tons; 94,600,000 short tons) of fish and shellfish that year.


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Ship pollution:-

Oil spills:-Oil spills have devastating effects on the environment. Crude oil contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are very difficult to clean up, and last for years in the sediment and marine environment. Marine species constantly exposed to polycyclic hydrocarbons can exhibit developmental problems, susceptibility to disease, and abnormal reproductive cycles.

Ballast water:-When a large vessel such as a container ship or an oil tanker unloads cargo, seawater is pumped into other compartments in the hull to help stabilize and balance the ship. During loading, this ballast water is pumped out from these compartments. One of the problems with ballast water transfer is the transport of harmful organisms.

Exhaust emissions:-Exhaust emissions from ships are considered to be a significant source of air pollution. “Seagoing vessels are responsible for an estimated 14 percent of emissions of nitrogen from fossil fuels and 16 percent of the emissions of sulphur from petroleum uses into the atmosphere.

Ship breaking:-Ship breaking or ship demolition is a type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for scrap recycling, with the hulls being discarded in ship graveyards. Most ships have a lifespan of a few decades before there is so much wear that refitting and repair becomes uneconomical. Ship breaking allows materials from the ship, especially steel, to be reused. In addition to steel and other useful materials, however, ships can contain many substances that are banned or considered dangerous in developed countries.


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