Mauritius oil spill likely to be cleaned up by January, ship owner says

This aerial view taken on August 6, 2020 shows a large patch of leaked oil and the vessel MV Wakashio (R), belonging to a Japanese company but Panamanian-flagged, that ran aground near Blue Bay Marine Park off the coast of south-east Mauritius. - France on August 8, 2020 dispatched aircraft and technical advisers from Reunion to Mauritius after the prime minister appealed for urgent assistance to contain a worsening oil spill polluting the island nation's famed reefs, lagoons and oceans. Rough seas have hampered efforts to stop fuel leaking from the bulk carrier MV Wakashio, which ran aground two weeks ago, and is staining pristine waters in an ecologically protected marine area off the south-east coast. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP) (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)
Video shows enormous oil leak in pristine lagoon
01:38 - Source: CNN

The clean-up of a massive oil spill in August from a vessel off Mauritius will likely be mostly completed by January, the bulk carrier’s owner, Japan’s Nagashiki Shipping, said Thursday.

Of the roughly 1,000 tons that spilled from the Panamanian-flagged MV Wakashio, all of the oil that had been floating in the ocean had been recovered, Nagashiki Shipping said in a statement.

Work to remove the oil along approximately 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of coastline was proceeding smoothly and would likely be completed by January, it said.

The vessel, chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, ran aground on a reef in Mauritius on July 25 and began leaking oil on August 6.

The spilt oil had spread over a vast area of endangered corals, affecting fish and other marine life in what some scientists have called the Indian Ocean island’s worst ecological disaster.

Nagashiki Shipping also said the planned removal of the rear portion of the vessel would begin in late December and last several months. The front part was scuttled in August as instructed by local authorities.