Japan proposes to wipe Mauritius mangroves by hand to remove oil – Kyodo News Plus

Japan is proposing to manually wipe the mangroves to remove any oil spilled from a Japanese cargo ship stranded off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean from their roots, a source familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

The idea, suggested by Japan at a meeting of the Mauritian government working group in late August, is also to remove fallen leaves covered in oil. The work would be carried out by a firm entrusted by the island nation and it is up to the Mauritian government to adopt the measure, the source said.

The photo provided shows a member of a disaster relief team investigating the oil on the mangroves on August 22, 2020 (Photo provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency) (Kyodo)

On July 25, the bulk carrier Wakashio carrying a total of some 3,800 tonnes of fuel oil and 200 tonnes of diesel, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd., ran aground near Esny Point, designated a wetland of international importance under Ramsar. . Convention.

More than 1,000 tons of oil began to leak from the ship on August 6.

According to the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, high pressure washers or chemicals should not be used to remove oil from mangroves as they could damage them.

Japanese experts sent as members of a disaster relief team confirmed the effectiveness of manual root removal by testing the method for themselves.

Tokyo plans to send additional bird and wildlife experts after the Mauritian government requested research into the effects of the oil spill on its native wildlife.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the Mauritian capital Port Louis on Saturday to accuse the government of delaying responding to the oil spill. They demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and government officials following the incident.

A lawsuit has been filed against the country’s Fisheries Minister Sudheer Maudhoo and Environment Minister Kavydass Ramano to pursue government accountability. The two were summoned to appear in court on August 21.

Some protesters called for an investigation into the deaths of around 40 dolphins, which had stranded on Saturday. Others have focused on the government’s inability to provide sufficient alert to the ship before it disembarks for the first time.

The government denied the allegations, insisting it had reported a warning to the carrier but received no response. The oil disposal process experienced delays due to bad weather conditions, he added.

Related coverage:

Japanese experts warn oil damage could kill mangroves in Mauritius

Stranded ship approached Mauritius to obtain mobile network for virus information

Mauritius arrests captain of Japanese ship that has leaked oil

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