It was 25 July 2020, when the MV Wakashio ran aground and then broke in two on a coral reef off Mauritius, resulting in a major environmental pollution in the pristine area.
The owner of the ship takes primary legal responsibility, but we, as the charterer of the ship, have to bear a social responsibility and take proper measures, as this accident has significantly impacted the environment and people’s life in Mauritius,
...Mitsui OSK President Junichiro Ikeda told a news conference on Friday.
Thirteen MOL Group employees have so far been dispatched to the site, and MOL has procured and transported essential items for the collection and recovery of leaked oil as well as other relief supplies.
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment has already dispatched experts to Mauritius to conduct mid and long-term environmental monitoring and consider measures to restore the environment.
In cooperation with Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, MOL plans to set up a Consortium with companies, and to cooperate with local NGOs in "cleaning that does not damage the mangrove forest ecosystem" and in "conservation of biodiversity beneath Mangrove forests" and planting of Mangrove trees.
In addition, the company plans to cooperate with Universities, Research Institutes, and Corporation, and to build up a joint project with local NGOs on coral reef recovery project. Planning activities include:
- Immediate nurturing of coral reef using cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence (AI)
- Support coral farming activities in underwater coral shelves
- Use the latest technology to protect coral reefs from mud suspended in seawater
The plan also includes protecting seabirds and conducting research on rare species of seabirds, as well as the establishment of the Mauritius Natural Environment Recovery Fund. As the founder, MOL plans to contribute about a total of 800 million Japanese Yen over several years.
Meanwhile, MOL will make donations to several local NGOs and contribute to funds established by public agencies such as those related to the government of Mauritius and the UN. It plans to contribute a total of about 100 million Japanese Yen.
Moreover, following the first and second groups (13 employees in total), which are now on site, MOL plans to dispatch a third group to replace the first group, which is scheduled to return to Japan in mid-September.
The company will also establish a Mauritius Representative Office in October, with the objectives of mid- and long-term cooperation and support for local communities and other concerned authorities in Mauritius
Furthermore, MOL is planning to select several employees globally and conduct employee training in Mauritius every year to deepen the understanding of marine pollution prevention and nature environment conservation and contribute to local communities.
The final part of the plan includes contributions to local fisheries and marine product industries, as well as to tourism industry. One of the plans is to donate a reefer container, which was a local inquiry to support the supply chain of refrigerated goods. MOL plans a cruise trip by Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line Ltd.’s Nippon Maru from Japan to ports in Mauritius, tentatively scheduled for 2022.