Over 1000 tonnes of oil spill in Mauritius, caused by a Japanese bulk carrier that ran aground on a reef two weeks ago, is creating an ecological disaster, endangering corals, fish and other marine life around the Indian Ocean island, officials and environmentalists say.
Over 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil have spilled from the capesize bulker Wakashio aground of the tourist island of Mauritius according to charterers Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL). “Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security and health.”
MOL said the Panama-flagged bulker was believed to have lost over a 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil in a joint news conference with the vessel’s owners Nagashiki Shipping in Tokyo on Sunday. Greenpeace said the spill likely to be one of the most terrible ecological crises in Mauritius.
The ship was sailing from China to Brazil when it hit coral reefs near Pointe d’Esny on July 25. The oil spill is a double blow for tourist operators who had hoped foreign tourists could soon return to Mauritius, which currently has no active case of the novel coronavirus.