Udayavni Special

Mauritius Oil Spill: Everything you need to know

Team Udayavani, Aug 14, 2020, 1:35 PM IST

A Japanese ship named MV Wakashio struck a coral reef on southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25. The vessel had an estimated 200 tons of diesel and 3,800 tons of heavy fuel oil onboard. The tanker is owned by Nagashiki Shipping Co. and operated by Mitsui OSK Lines

More than 1000 tonnes of oil leaked from the cracked vessel polluting the coral reefs, beaches and lagoons of the island nation.

Prime minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth, declared a state of environmental emergency on  August, 7, calling for international assistance in tackling the disaster. A huge clean-up operation has been launched from the shore with many local people volunteering to help.

According to Vogue, Conservationists fear the oil spill could have a devastating impact on Mauritius, which relies heavily on its fishing and tourism industries

Also, there are 1,700 species including around 800 types of fish, 17 kinds of marine mammals and two species of turtles in the environmentAlso, The toxic hydrocarbons released from spilled oil will bleach the coral reefs and they will eventually die

It is said that Helicopters have been deployed to Mauritius to help transfer the fuel from the ship on to the shore. Locals too are voluntarily helping in the cleaning process.

On the other hand, human hair is seen as a potential tool for oil-absorption. Hair salons around the island are cutting and collecting hair for the cleanup efforts, some of them even offering up 50% discounts on haircuts

Mauritian-based NGO Eco-Sud has set up a fundraiser to help clean-up and for long-term conservation projects and research into the oil spill.

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