General view of mangrove trees covered in oil from the bulk carrier ship MV Wakashio, belonging to a Japanese company but Panamanian-flagged, ran aground on a reef, at the Riviere des Creoles, Mauritius. Picture: Reuben Pillay/Reuters
General view of mangrove trees covered in oil from the bulk carrier ship MV Wakashio, belonging to a Japanese company but Panamanian-flagged, ran aground on a reef, at the Riviere des Creoles, Mauritius. Picture: Reuben Pillay/Reuters

Japanese team to assist Mauritius with oil spill cleanup

By Reuters Time of article published Aug 15, 2020

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Tokyo - Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said on Saturday Tokyo planned to send a team of officials from the ministry and other specialists to Mauritius to assess the damage from an oil spill.

Volunteers take part in the clean up operation in Mahebourg, surrounding the oil spill from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius. Picture: Beekash Roopun-L'express Maurice/AP

A Japanese bulk carrier struck a coral reef off Mauritius on July 25, spilling about 1 000 tonnes of fuel oil and triggering a state of "environmental emergency" in what some scientists call the country's worst ecological disaster.

General view of a mangrove covered in oil from the bulk carrier ship MV Wakashio, belonging to a Japanese company but Panamanian-flagged, ran aground on a reef, at the Riviere des Creoles, Mauritius. Picture: Reuben Pillay/Reuters

Removing the ship will be a delicate operation and is likely to take months. France, which once ruled Mauritius as a colony, has said it will assist with the cleanup.

The MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, can bee seen from the coast. Pcture: Kooghen Modeliar-Vyapooree-L'express Maurice/AP

Koizumi also told reporters on Saturday he saw the oil spill as a grave crisis that could lead to a loss of biodiversity. The ship, MV Wakashio, is owned by Japan's Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines.

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