Oil spill disaster in Mauritius
On the 25th of July 2020, the 300-metres-long cargo ship “Wakashio” of Japan-based Nagashiki Shipping Company ran aground a coral reef off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Over the following days, about 1200 tons of oil leaked into the sea and polluted one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse coral reefs as well as mangrove forests.
On the 16th of August, the ship broke in two. The 90 tons of oil still on board spilled into the ocean, too. Eight days later, two towboats dragged the larger front part of the ship some 13 kilometres towards the open sea where it was sunk to a depth of about 3000 metres – right in the middle of a known cetacean reproduction area. Another three days later, strandings of melon-headed whales started, and sick and dying animals were observed on the open sea.