Mauritius Oil Spill has left the archipelago in a state of environmental emergency. A wrecked ship started breaking up. This left the clear ocean around the country afloat with oil. The ship hit a reef at Pointe d’Esny towards the east of the island nation. For a country like Mauritius, oil spill can be catastrophic. The entire economy of the nation depends on tourism.
A ship owned by a Japanese comoany, MV Wakashio,was travelling from China to Brazil. Reportedly, the ship was carrying around 4,000 tons of fuel. The ship was aground on a coral reef on July 25. Therefore causing the oil to leak into the Indian ocean. This marks the first oil spill for Mauritius, which is famous for its clear beaches and diverse marine life. The crew of the ship was evacuated a few days ago after the crack was detected.
The attempts to clean the sea have failed so far, owing upto the adverse weather conditions and the rough sea. Because of these adversities, pumping oil out of the ocean have has achieved very little to no success.
Ashok Subron, an environmental activist said,
“People have realised that they need to take things into their hands. We are here to protect our fauna and flora,”
On Friday the country declared a state of environmental emergency. The Prime Minister of Mauritius,after declaring the emergency, appealed for international help.
MV Wakashio is in operation under, Mitsui OSK. the company apologized for the Mauritius oil spill on Sunday. Akihiko Ono, the executive vice president of Mitsui OSK said,
“We apologise profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,”
“do everything in their power to resolve the issue”.
What is being done?
The people of Mauritius of are coming together to battle the situation together. They are trying desperately to hold the oil back by sewing together miles of makeshift cordons. But, the oil has already affected the country’s marine life, white sand beaches and the blue ocean surrounding the country. The French President, Emmanuel Macron has announced help. Moreover, the country will send its military flight with the damage control equipment. Mauritius has asked the United Nations for aid and expertise in environmental protection and oil spill control.
Japan has also extended a helping hand. Japanese Foreign Ministry released a statement,
“We hope that this assistance will contribute to recovery of the environment of Mauritius and prevention of marine pollution,”
Evidently, japan will be sending a six person disaster relief team. The team was requested by the government of Mauritius. It will help in clearing up the massive oil spill.