The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is still reeling from the devastating oil spill caused by the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned vessel, The Wakashio. More questions are now being asked about the cause of the incident as the original claims start to unravel.
The first day that the Panama Maritime Authorities landed in Mauritius on September 8, they claimed that the captain had ordered a change of course to “find internet or a telephone signal.”
While this captured many headlines, most in Mauritius were doubtful about this account, given that internet connectivity was easily available even 12 nautical miles off shore, where most vessels on the busy
Newspaper reports in Mauritius this week have raised concerns about tampering with the oil fingerprinting linked to the Japanese-owned vessel, the Wakashio.
The vessel ran aground amid a network of highly protected areas in Mauritius at the end of July, and was responsible for the biggest oil spill in Mauritius history 12 days later, setting off a State of National Environmental Emergency in the country and an ecological crisis as endangered species on a highly protected reserve were directly impacted by the spill.
In the national Mauritian newspaper, the Le Mauricien on 4 October 2020, a full page is devoted to the concerns about the handling of the oil fingerprinting by the crew of the Wakashio.
On Monday September 24, at a virtual meeting hosted by the UN Headquarters in New York, 60 world leaders signed a ‘Leaders Pledge for Nature’ to stop the loss of biodiversity. Heads of State from France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Panama signed.
Noticeably, the embattled political leaders from Japan and Mauritius were not signatories.
The Leaders Pledge in New York was part of an important UN Summit to avoid the world heading into a major period of biodiversity collapse, as planet Earth grapples with the highest extinction rates since homo sapiens became a distinct species, in what has been called the Sixth Mass Extinction. Rather than being caused by colliding asteroids or other natural phenomenon, this new age of extinction is being caused by man.
The front lines of this extinction battle is happening live on