Monday, 04 July, 2022

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New satellite images show damage caused by Mauritius Oil spill


Mazino Dickson

New satellite images have shown the extent of damage on Mauritius coastline by an oil spill.

This followed the activation of the  International Charter Space and Major Disasters – an international collaboration that gives rescue and aid workers rapid access to satellite data in the event of a disaster.

Footage retrieved from the  Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, shows the MV Wakashio, visible in the bottom of the image, is stranded close to Pointe d’Esny, an important wetland area.

The oil slick can be seen as a thin, black line surrounded by the bright turquoise colours of the Indian Ocean. Oil is visible near the boat, as well as other locations around the lagoon.

The ship was carrying nearly 4000 tonnes of oil when it ran aground on a coral reef on Mauritius’s southeast coast on 25 July.

So far more than 1000 tonnes of fuel have leaked into the ocean – polluting the nearby coral reefs, as well as the surrounding beaches and lagoons.

Also satellite company Maxar Technologies also showed images of the ongoing clean-up of Mauritius coast.

Response

Following a declaration of an ecological emergency, the International community has rushed to support Mauritius – an Island nation that is a popular tourism destination because of its rich aquaculture.

Environmentalists this week reported that sea life has already been impacted by the spill with many dead fishes and other species washing ashore.

The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation says seabirds and waders are most likely to be affected by the oil spill and also turtles although there are less of them.