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Mauritius must protect vulnerable coastal communities from the effects of the oil spill

Mauritius must protect vulnerable coastal communities from the effects of the oil spill

ROSABELLA BOSWELL, Professor of Ocean Cultures and Heritage, Nelson Mandela University ON 25 July 2020, the Japanese ship, MV Wakashio, ran aground the coral reef off the eastern coast of Mauritius. The vessel discharged more than 1,000 tonnes of oil into the island’s pristine lagoon including its Blue Bay Marine reserve. The situation is critical because Mauritius is a biodiversity hotspot. But beyond the environmental consequences, there’s the human impact. Oil spills have major social and health implications. People exposed can suffer from liver damage, skin and lung disorders, increased cancer risk, reproductive damage and post traumatic stress. Responding to…
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Mauritius oil spill: how coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass could be affected

Mauritius oil spill: how coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass could be affected

SIVAJYODEE SANNASSY PILLY, PhD Candidate in Marine Ecology, Bangor University JOHN TURNER, Professor of Marine Biology and Head of School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University RONAN ROCHE, Research Fellow in Marine Science, Bangor University SOMETIMES bad things happen in the worst possible places – like the MV Wakashio running aground on shallow reefs off the south-east coast of Mauritius on July 25. The wreck of the bulk carrier ship began leaking oil in front of a nature reserve island (Ile aux Aigrettes), a couple of kilometres from a marine park (Blue Bay), and close to an internationally important wetland area…
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‘Heartwrenching’: at least 40 dolphins dead near Mauritius oil spill

‘Heartwrenching’: at least 40 dolphins dead near Mauritius oil spill

GIULIA PARAVICINI and KATHARINE HOURELD At least 40 dolphins have mysteriously died in an area of Mauritius affected by an oil spill from a Japanese boat, officials and witnesses said on Friday, as witnesses described the deaths of one mother dolphin and her baby. Environmentalists have demanded an investigation into whether the dolphins were killed as a result of the spill from a Japanese ship, which was scuttled on Monday after running aground in July and leaking oil. The death toll may rise: fisherman Yasfeer Heenaye said he saw between 25 and 30 apparently dead dolphins floating in the lagoon…
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Oil not found in dead Mauritius dolphins – preliminary autopsy

Oil not found in dead Mauritius dolphins – preliminary autopsy

GIULIA PARAVICINI THE cause of death of 25 dolphins that washed up in Mauritius near the site of an oil spill remains unclear after two of the animals showed no trace of oil in their bodies, a preliminary autopsy report showed on Thursday. "The preliminary results show that the animals did not have trace of hydrocarbon in their respiratory system, nor in their skin, throat or stomach," the report said. Some dolphins washed ashore on Wednesday and more were found on Thursday. Only two of the dolphins found on Wednesday had been examined so far, the report said. Those two…
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17 dead dolphins wash up on Mauritius beach near oil spill site

17 dead dolphins wash up on Mauritius beach near oil spill site

GIULIA PARAVICINI  SEVENTEEN dead dolphins washed up on Mauritius's shore on Wednesday, a government official told Reuters, a month after an oil spill from a Japanese ship that ran aground caused a major ecological disaster in the area. "The dead dolphins had several wounds and blood around their jaws, no trace of oil however. The ones that survived, around ten, seemed very fatigued and could barely swim," said Jasvin Sok Appadu from the fisheries ministry. The dead dolphins have been taken to the Albion Fisheries Research Centre for an autopsy, Appadu said. Results are expected on Wednesday night. A spokeswoman…
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Japan ship deviated from shipping lane before Mauritius impact, data shows

Japan ship deviated from shipping lane before Mauritius impact, data shows

AARON SHELDRICK THE Japanese-owned bulk carrier that ran aground off Mauritius and spilled oil over pristine waters and fragile coral reefs diverted more than 100 kilometres from a regular shipping lane, data from a maritime analysis firm showed. The MV Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, struck a coral reef on Mauritius's southeast coast on July 25 and later began leaking oil. Two of the ship's officers have since been arrested on charges of endangering safe navigation. The iron-ore carrier was using a well-travelled shipping lane that passes near Mauritius when the accident happened,…
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Mauritius arrests captain of Japanese ship that caused oil spill

Mauritius arrests captain of Japanese ship that caused oil spill

Mauritius has arrested the captain of a Japanese bulk carrier that ran aground off its coast, causing a devastating oil spill in one of the world's most pristine maritime environments, police said on Tuesday. "We have arrested the captain of the vessel and another member of the crew. After having been heard by the court they have been denied bail and are still in detention," Inspector Siva Coothen told Reuters. - Thomson Reuters Foundation. In Pictures: Ship leaking oil off #Mauritius breaks apart @AJEnglish https://t.co/Yc7IS0OoRd pic.twitter.com/JUXoLWGusi— showkat shafi (@ShowkatShafi) August 17, 2020 A drone footage showing the extent of the…
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Oil spill in Mauritius may thwart years of conservation efforts

Oil spill in Mauritius may thwart years of conservation efforts

ZEENAT HANSROD Follow Conservationists in Mauritius are navigating unchartered territory as they struggle to assess the damage from the Wakashio oil spill in one of the island's most ecologically sensitive areas. All efforts have been deployed to protect the fragile ecosystem, which has existed for millions of years. “Even in my worst of nightmares, I would never have thought something like that could happen to us,” says Dr Vikash Tatayah, conservation director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF). “We are used to cyclones, droughts or an invasive species, it’s part of nature and we know how to cope with that. But we never thought we would have to…
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Mauritius prepares for the worst as vessel at centre of oil spill disintegrates

Mauritius prepares for the worst as vessel at centre of oil spill disintegrates

ZEENAT HANSROD Follow THE ship responsible for an oil spill in Mauritius is likely to break into two, worsening what is already an unmitigated ecological and economic disaster. Indigenous species are at risk of becoming extinct. Locals’ livelihoods are in danger. The island will take years to recover from the oil spill at Pointe d’Esny.  The population in Mauritius is oscillating between anger and despair. Anger because Mauritians feel that this catastrophe could have been avoided, and despair because of the extent of the damage. Grown men are crying who can no longer recognise the place where they grew up.…
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France helping Mauritius over MV Wakashio oil spill accident

France helping Mauritius over MV Wakashio oil spill accident

FRANCE is sending a military plane and a naval boat to Mauritius to help the government deal with the oil spill caused by the MV Wakashio accident, said the French defence ministry has announced. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck a reef on Mauritius' southeast coast on July 25. Fuel started leaking from the cracked vessel last week and officials and environmentalists say the incident risks becoming an ecological disaster. The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean has apologised. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck…
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