At least 17 dolphins have been found stranded on Mauritius’ shores over the past several days, BBC reports, raising questions about whether these could be linked to a recent oil spill from Wakashio bulker that went aground last month and subsequently split in two.
Environmental group Greenpeace said at least four dead and four ailing dolphins were found stranded on Wednesday morning on the shores, calling for an urgent investigation to determine the cause of the strandings.
“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. Greenpeace appeals to the authorities to carry out a swift, transparent and public autopsy on the bodies collected,” Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa Senior Climate, and Energy Campaign Manager, said.
The environmental group said that the long term impacts of the oil spill are yet to be determined, but it is estimated that it would likely affect turtles, seabirds, and much of the marine life in the area.
Greenpeace has called on the owner of the ship Nagashiki Shipping and its charterer MOL to fully pay for the current and future damages from the spill and launch and fund a fully public independent investigation into the causes and consequences of the disaster for both people and the environment.
The organization has also called on the companies to abandon this passage through Mauritian waters to ensure the protection of the island, and end all business reliant on fossil fuels.
Wakashio’s bow was sent to its final resting place on Sunday, August 24th, in Mauritian waters. The aft section is yet to be removed and the country has opened an international Invitation To Tender (ITT) for the removal of the aft section of the casualty.
Around 1,000 tonnes of oil are estimated to have leaked from the wreck, in what is considered the worst oil spill in the history of Mauritius.
Wakashio went aground off Mauritius on July 25. The bunker oil from the vessel leaked out on August 6, and the vessel broke apart on August 15.
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by Jasmina Ovcina/World Maritime News