Mauritius has declared an environmental emergency because an oil tanker ran aground off its coast. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth asked France for help in combating the impending environmental disaster.
“Our country doesn’t have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships, so I have appealed for help from France and President Emmanuel Macron,” he said. Bad weather has made it impossible to act, and “I worry what could happen Sunday when the weather deteriorates.”
The freighter “Wakashio”, which belongs to a Japanese company and sails under the Panamanian flag, ran aground off the southeast coast of the island state on July 25 with around 4,000 tons of fuel on board. The 20 crew members could be brought to safety.
However, oil is currently flowing unhindered into the sea from a leak in the ship’s side.
The tanker “Wakashio” is aground off Mauritius. Around 1,000 tons of oil have now leaked. (Photo: DEV RAMKHELAWON / AFP)
According to a spokesman for Japanese operator Mitsui OSK Lines, an attempt was made to bring the oil from the freighter by helicopter. However, bad weather hampers the work, said the spokesman in Tokyo. The company also tried to prevent the oil from spreading by locking in the water. Because of the heavy swell “it doesn’t work well” (!!)
Government statements this week said the ship ran aground July 25 and the National Coast Guard received no distress call. The ship’s owners were listed as the Japanese companies Okiyo Maritime Corporation and Nagashiki Shipping Co. Ltd.
Environmentalists fear a disaster, the accident site is near two nature reserves. The oil threatens to pollute the coral reefs, lagoons and white sandy beaches that Mauritius is famous for as a tourist destination.
Aerial photos showed that large parts of the turquoise-blue water are already dark in color.
“Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security, and health,” Khambule said.
But above all, the unanswered questions cause anger among the residents.
The authorities are just now trying to get the disaster under control.
Why did the authorities appear to be inactive for two weeks?
“The oil should have been pumped out immediately after the accident to avoid leakage”, said Dowarkasing. That was gross negligence on the part of the authorities – “a crime against the environment”.
Near the wreck are two protected areas and a small island that is a model for nature conservation and biodiversity. Dowarkasing warned that all of this could be destroyed by the oil.
“It will be years before it becomes the way it used to be. Or it will never be the same again.”
And I mean…It wasn’t long ago, in 2016, when we received calls for help from animal rights activists: save the monkeys of Mauritius!
What was there?
Mauritius is one of the few countries where it is allowed to catch monkeys from the wild and send them to laboratories all over the world. On this island, the animals are classified as “pests” because they feed on sugar cane.
That is why the trade in primates is booming on the holiday island of Mauritius.
After China, Mauritius is the world’s second largest exporter of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis).
The island nation sells thousands of monkeys each year to the animal testing industry in the US and Europe, particularly France, the UK and Germany.
The number of animals imported from Mauritius has always been obscured.
This bloody business brings tens of millions into the island’s city treasury. Like tourism too.
Now Mauritius is begging for help everywhere, for a disaster that could destroy the lives and livelihoods of many families on the island if tourism stops, which the island primarily lives off of.
Mauritius never thought that the monkeys that were caught with traps also had their families, their children, their environment and all of it is destroyed at once, every day! And that it is also (and not only) “a crime against the environment” to send these animals to laboratories, where they are tortured and die cruelly.
As soon as the disaster is repaired to some extent, Mauritius will live again from colonial tourism and the monkey trade. Everything will be as before.
My best regards to all, Venus
The freighter “Wakashio”, which belongs to a Japanese company and sails under the Panamanian flag, ran aground off the southeast coast of the island state on July 25.
Another vessel registered in Panama; just like the export ship taking bulls from Ireland to Libya.
One has to question the ‘seafaring’ abilty of these Panamanians; no doubt they are cheap; that is why everything with bad business seems to be registered there.
With the running aground of this tanker; environmental destrucyion is inevitable. Venus is absolutely correct in what she says about the Mauritanian primates. We campaigned about this in London what, 35 years ago (or more):