Oil spill: Opposition member says Gov’t should have done betterAugust 11, 2020
The MMM member, daughter of leader Paul Berenger, Joanna Berenger says the government did not handle the situation well.
“The government should have done better,” is the lambasting words from Ms Berenger.
Berenger says the government was too slow to act. The ship, she says, wrecked on the shores more than a week before the oil spill became apparent.
She hails efforts by citizens of the country who came to the disaster area to do their part to help clean the mess.
The government has declared a state of environmental emergency but the oil spill is already causing a lot of damages to the region.
Meanwhile, the shipping company, Nagashiki Shipping, provides the following update on the grounding of the vessel off the east coast of the island of Mauritius on Jul 25.
“Due to the bad weather and constant pounding over the past few days, the starboard side bunker tank of the vessel has been breached and an amount of fuel oil has escaped into the sea.
“Oil prevention measures are in place and an oil boom has been deployed around the vessel. ITOPF (International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation) is advising the owner, salvage team and the Government on the pollution and possible effects.
“The Owner and its P+I Club have contracted a specialist oil response and salvage team who are coordinating with the Mauritian authorities to mitigate the effects of any pollution.”
The media statement says Nagashiki Shipping takes its environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and will take every effort with partner agencies and contractors to protect the marine environment and prevent further pollution.
“The situation is being closely monitored and in view of poor sea conditions, salvage efforts are currently on hold.
“The decision has been made to remove the crew from the vessel, who are all safe and have been transferred to the shore.
“The cause of the incident will be fully investigated, and the Owner/Manager will continue to work closely with the authorities to determine the cause.”
THREAT TO WILDLIFE
Forbes says the Japanese freighter ‘MV Wakashio’ ran aground on Mauritius’ coral reefs on Sunday 25 July.
“It remained stuck and started breaking apart 13 days later on Thursday 6 August, releasing 1000 of its estimated 4000 tons of heavy bunker fuel into the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean, as a large gash started appearing on the side of the vessel,” it says.
Forbes is also worried that the location of the grounding is too close to two internationally protected UNESCO Ramsar sites for wetlands.
They include a small coral atoll that had been set aside from human interference for the recovery of endemic species of Mauritius’ rich and rare biodiversity.