Intolerance for fossil fuels grows after Mauritius oil spill
After a Japanese vessel MVWakashio ran aground off the southeastern coast of Mauritius on 25 July 2020, the island is battling to prevent an environmental disaster. The 300-meter long vessel was en route to Brazil from China carrying over 3,800 tons of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil and 200 tons of diesel oil.
After one of the five fuel tanks struck the coral reef and ruptured, over 1,180 tones of fuel leaked into the ocean, raising fears of an ecological crisis.
A cleanup operation has been launched, including efforts from volunteers and locals, resulting in the manual removal of about 460 tons of oil from the sea and coast. A state of emergency has also been declared by Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, as the tourism-based economy prepares for the impact of such an environmental disaster.
The ship is owned by Nagashiki Shipping and operated by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. According to a statement issued by Nagashiki: “Due to the bad weather and constant pounding over the past few days, the starboard side bunker tank of the vessel has been breached and an amount of fuel oil has escaped into the sea. Oil prevention measures are in place and an oil boom has been deployed around the vessel…”
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