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Snapshot: Investigating Detrimental Oil Spillage in Mauritius

Mauritius is famous for being a beautiful tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. However, this perception was somewhat tainted ever when a Japanese ship struck a reef on July 25 2020, which then leaked some 1,000 tonnes of oil in the pristine waters. On the 15th August the ship split apart causing the remaining fuel within it to spread into the turquoise waters. The oil began to contaminate a lagoon off the coast of Pointe d’Esny. This is extremely harmful for the environment because this is an area of international ecological importance. It’s home to stunning marine ecosystems and ecological preserves like Ile aux Aigrettes, a coral island filled with endemic birds, plants and animals. This will soon be history as Mauritius has long been under assault by coal, oil and gas industries. This recent oil spillage has only helped accelerate this island’s deterioration.

The cause and extent of the damage is being investigated now with roughly 15 people confirming their participation in the inquiry and a former judge to lead the inquiry. A court rejected an application for bail by the Captain in October 2020. It remains to be seen what the outcome of the investigation will be.

By Irene Madanhi

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