Photos By: Greenpeace Africa
Last month, WAN reported on the devastating oil spill that occurred in Mauritius after a Japanese cargo ship, the MV Wakashio, struck a reef off the country’s coast.
According to Greenpeace, 39 dead dolphins have been discovered off the shore of Mauritius one month after the ship ran aground, spilling 1,000 tons of oil into the sea.
Thousands of frustrated local residents protested in the capital city, Port Louis, demanding an investigation into why the ship strayed miles off course questioning the government’s poor handling of the oil spill.
“This is a deeply sad and alarming day for the people of Mauritius and for its singular biodiversity, itself known and appreciated by the worldwide biodiversity community,” said Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa’s Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager in a statement. Greenpeace appeals to the authorities to carry out a swift, transparent, and public autopsy of the animals that have been killed as a result of the oil spill.
On Monday, August 24th, Greenpeace Africa and Greenpeace Japan joined local human rights organization Dis Moi in sending a letter to the Government of Mauritius, calling for greater transparency and accountability in their handling of the crisis and calling for three key investigations. The stranding of an extraordinary number of mammals reinforces how urgent these demands are.
“The ocean is part of who we are. The whole country including coastal communities depend on its health. That is why many Mauritians woke up anguished and afraid that the oil spill may be killing it,” said Vijay Naraidoo, Co-director of Dis Moi. “Such biodiversity loss is an ominous development for what might come as a result of the oil spill.”
Cetaceans are already facing serious threats from: climate change, plastic pollution, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and habitat loss. The long term impacts of the oil spill are yet to be determined, but will negatively affect turtles, seabirds, and much of the marine life in the area for a long period of time.
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg