Japan To Send Investigation Team To Mauritius To Look Into Cause Of Bulk Carrier Oil Spill
Japan will be sending an accident investigation team to Mauritius to look into the cause of oil spill by Japanese Bulk Carrier MV Wakashio off the coast of Indian Ocean after it ran aground hitting the coral reefs.
The five-member investigation team will leave Japan on Sunday to carry out a two-week investigation to look into the cause of oil spill. The investigation probe will begin after two weeks of quarantine to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, according to Mauritius Government.
The incident happened on July 25th when Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio chartered by Mitsui OSK. Lines (MOL) ran aground in the coral reefs of Mauritius and caused a huge amount of oil spill of the coast.
The vessel was heading to China from Brazil with 3800 tonnes of fuel oil and 200 tonnes of diesel. More than 1700 tonnes of oil has been spilt over the seas, declaring a national emergency by the Mauritian Government.
Japan’s transport minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said, “Although the Japanese government does not have authority over the Panamanian-registered vessel, we have obtained approval from Mauritius and Panama for Tokyo’s investigation as the ship was owned and operated by Japanese companies.”
“We plan to inspect the ship and interview people involved in the oil leak in cooperation with both countries,” the minister told a press conference on Friday.
Japanese officials have formed a task force regarding the investigation, which will be led by Yuji Sato, who formerly headed the Japanese Coast Guard.
Japanese environmentalist, Noriaki Sakaguchi said, “We would like to apply our technical skills to help clean the oil-covered mangrove forests”. He added, “Once damaged, it will take a long time for an ecological system to recover”.
The investigation material and guidelines have been donated by Tokyo based company M-TechX which was also used in an oil spill accident in Japan last year. They will be sending a special type of absorbent material which will be used to clean the coastal areas and the forests.
Scientists said that the oil spill can be cleaned but the damage can affect Mauritius tourism for decades.
Mitsui OSK Lines said that they will be donating about 1 billion yen to help Mauritius clean the oil spill and bring the environment back to normal.