Mauritius

Climate & Environment
Mauritius arrests captain of Japanese ship over oil spill
MV Wakashio
MV Wakashio Credit: Nagashiki Shipping

The authorities of Mauritius arrested Tuesday, the captain of the Japanese vessel MV Wakashio. The ship struck the coral reef off the Indian Ocean island nation on July 25 and caused a massive oil spill.

Inspector Siva Coothen told Reuters: "We have arrested the captain of the vessel and another member of the crew. After having been heard by the court they have been denied bail and are still in detention."

Climate & Environment
Mauritius: Satellite image show ship spilling fuel; environmental emergency declared
MV Wakashio
MV Wakashio Credit: Nagashiki Shipping

The Japanese vessel MV Wakashio ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25th. It was reportedly carrying 4000 tons of fuel. New satellite images from Friday show dark oil spreading in the turquoise waters, near an area that is "very sensitive" according to the Mauritian.

The coasts wildlife has been brought from the island Ile aux Aigrettes to the mainland to avoid contact with the oil. Greenpeace reports that "thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d'Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius' economy, food security and health." The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation is asking why authorities haven't acted earlier. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has asked France for help because Mauritius "doesn't have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships."

The weather has made work on the ship nearly impossible. Jugnauth worries "hat could happen Sunday when the weather deteriorates" and the oil pushes to the mainland's shore.

Volunteers have started building makeshift barriers.

Regional News • Africa
Mauritius starts reopening businesses and launches platform for work permits

The Republic of Mauritius has launched an online platform for the public to apply digitally for work permits as the country eases its Covid-19 lockdown. So far only food and gas distributors, supermarkets and convenience stores are permitted to open. Hairdressers and hardware stores will be allowed to re-open from May 14th on. Also, a few other businesses will be allowed to operate, including medical facilities, petrol stations, hotels, port and airport and related businesses, security services, as well as cleaning and scavenging services.