Following the Japanese bulk carrier’s “MV Wakashio” grounding off the Mauritius coast on 25 July, region’s authorities informed that the vessel has now broken apart, spilling even more oil into the sea.
For the records, Wakashio was heading from China to Brazil when it ran aground on the coral reef on Pointe d’esny off Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean.
What is more, the vessel was carrying 3.894 tonnes of low-sulphur fuel oil, 207 tonnes of diesel and 90 tonnes of lubricant oil.
In light of the situation, the bulk carrier spilled approximately 1.200 tonnes of fuel oil, harming corals, fish and other marine life, with scientists consider Wakashio grounding one of the country’s worst ecological disaster.
In comparison to previous offshore spills, this has taken place close to two environmentally protected marine ecosystems and the Blue Bay Marine Park reserve, which is a wetland of international importance.
According to experts, it’s the location and not the size of the spill which is causing the greatest concern about its potentially serious environmental impact.
What is more, the Mauritian marine environment is home to 1.700 species including 800 types of fish, 17 kinds of marine mammals and two species of turtles, UN Convention on Biological Diversity reported.
Unfortunately, due to the wind and the water currents, the oil is heading towards the areas that host major marine ecosystems.
In fact, the oil spill turns the waters of the blue lagoon outside the coastal village of Mahébourg in Mauritius, stained black and brown.
One of the region’s main concerns is the coral reefs that live in the lagoon, as 25% of fish in the ocean depend on healthy coral reefs, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US.
Coral reefs and the marine ecosystems are the major pillars of Mauritian tourism which is a big part of the country’s economy.