The shipowner of Nagashiki Shipping says that most of the oil left on a Japanese bulk carrier that has leaked an estimated 1,000 tonnes off the Mauritius coast has been pumped off. “I heard the collection is almost over, but it is hard to tell if there is absolutely no oil left on the ship,” Yoshinori Fukushima, a spokesman for Nagashiki, said. Japan P&I Club, the only organisation in Japan that underwrites protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance for ocean-going vessels and coastal ships, said it had yet to estimate the cost of the clean-up. The MW Wakashiao struck a coral reef and went aground off the southeast Mauritius coast on July 25. Oil from the stricken vessel has reached some of the Indian Ocean Island’s most pristine beaches, threatening corals, other local wildlife and the country’s tourism industry. Conservationists said they were starting to find dead fish as well as seabirds covered in oil, increasing fears of an ecological catastrophe despite a massive local clean-up operation that includes making floating booms from leaves and human hair.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA