In 2020, the shores of a paradise like Mauritius were the scene of a new ecological disaster. Dozens of dolphins were found dead. There are no studies yet to determine the cause. The cause is said to have been the sinking of the Japanese oil tanker Wakashio.
On July 25th of this year it ran aground on the reefs around Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. They believed they were in control of the situation. But on August 15, the hull split in two and spilled its cargo into the sea.
An oil tanker ran aground off the coast of Mauritius
At the time it was grounded, more than 1,000 tons of oil were spilled into the sea. The fuel was quickly spilled into protected wetlands and islets in the area. Birds and wild animals live there, so they are true protected areas for wild animals and nature
To date, 40 dead dolphins have been found on its banks. No traces of oil were found, but it is believed that this was the cause of death. Many volunteers who live on the islands tried to minimize the tragedy. They helped remove hundreds of baby turtles and various species of birds from the threat of contamination.
The Mauritius Marine Conservation Society authorities wanted to investigate why the ship was deviating many miles from its route. While it tries to contain the spilled oil by floating “pools” of plastic bottles and barrels.
Oil tankers pose a great threat to the environment
There are many cases where oil-carrying ships have caused major ecological disasters.
- In 1960 the Sinclair Petrolore ship spilled more than 65,000 tons of crude oil into the sea off the Brazilian coast.
- In Australia, the Chinese-flagged ship Shen Neng 1 spilled 65,000 tons of oil in 2010, causing a real ecological disaster.
- In 2002 the coasts of Galicia were affected by the sinking of the Prestige with 66,000 tons. The ecological catastrophe caused is the worst that the Galician coast has suffered in its history. More than 80,000 square meters of oil spill have proven this.
- An explosion in 2010 and the sinking of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico caused another disaster. The Deepwater Horizon platform, about 75 miles off the coast of Louisiana, killed 11 people and thousands of marine animals. The oil spill reached the Mississippi Estuary, where there are 400 protected species.
Greenpeace’s opinion on the matter
Mauritius is a paradise that is in danger today.
According to Greenpeace, these natural disasters are caused directly by humans:
- Lack of controls
- Ships in poor condition due to lack of maintenance
- Bad performance by the staff
Responsible companies are often only punished minimally. They face fines that companies can easily take on. But they don’t repair the damage caused by disasters. It is important to protect the planet and its ecology so that clear rules are established. Control bodies have to assert themselves for the protection of nature and not for the profit of the company. The planet demands it.