Mauritius’ Marine Life Under Threat Due to Oil Spill

Source: Facebook @GreenpeaceAfrica

The MV Wakashio ship struck a coral reef in Mauritius on 25 July forcing the Mauritian government to declare an environmental state of emergency last week.

On Wednesday, owner of Japanese bulk carrier, Nagashiki Shipping, announced that the majority of the 1 000 tonnes of oil that spilt off the coast of Mauritius had been pumped off.

The oil spill has greatly threatened marine life and the tourism industry, as the oil reached protected areas and many fish and seabirds were found dead and covered in oil.

Volunteers, mainly consisting of residents from the island, has been involved in a large clean-up operation. It is reported that many used straw to create barriers against the oil, some other material used in the clean up includes tights and human hair to create tubes.

The Mauritian government has called for international help to deal with the disaster. According to reports, the African country has not received help from other states on the continent nor from the African Union. However, it has received feedback from one of its former colonial rulers, France, who reportedly sent pollution control equipment from their island Réunion.

Japan has also responded saying that they will be deploying experts to the country to help deal with the ecological disaster. A Japanese company that investigates protection and indemnity insurance is working on the cost estimate of the clean-up.

Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth says that the ship is still holding 2 000 tonnes of oil and is expected to break up.