A Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef in Mauritius on 25 July, carrying 4000 tonnes of fuel, causing an ecological state of emergency.
The Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth recently said that more than 3,000 of the 4,000 tonnes of oil from the ship's fuel reservoirs had been pumped out. The removed oil was transferred to shore by the same Japanese firm who owns the bulk carrier.
Nevertheless, biodiversity-rich marine ecosystem has been polluted with nearly 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil. The oil spill’s size is relatively low compared to previous oil spills the world has seen, however experts say the damage is going to be large and long-lasting. The spill’s location rather than its size is causing the greatest concerns. This oil spill has taken place close to two environmentally protected marine ecosystems and Blue Bay Marine Park reserve, which is a wetland of international relevance.
“Greenpeace Africa has warned that "thousands" of animal species were "at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius's economy, food security and health".
An oceanographer and environmental engineer in Mauritius, Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, told the BBC that local residents were now "breathing heavy vapours of oil", and there was a "mixture of sadness and anger" over the spill.” (BBC)
If you have any means to help, Mauritius needs it now.