After remains of dead dolphins washed up in the shore of Mauritius a month after the oil spill that contaminated its waters, the Greenpeace movement called n the country's government to conduct an urgent investigation.
In a statement by the senior climate and energy campaign manager of Greenpeace Africa, Happy Khambule, she stated that the incident reflects a sad and alarming day for the people of Mauritius. She also appealed to the authorities on behalf of the movement to initiate a transparent, swift, and public autopsy on the remains of the dolphins that were recovered.
On July 25, the Japanese-owned ship MV-Wakashia hit a coral reef of the Indian Ocean. The hit caused damage to the ship causing oil from the vessel to spill on August 6. The government immediately declared a state of environmental emergency after the incident, Jakarta Post reported.
A large area of corals was highly affected by the spill; thus, fish and other marine life were affected as well. The spill was referred to by experts as the worst ecological disaster in the country.
Scientists have stated that as the impact of the spill continues to unfold, the damage may affect the country and its economy, which highly dependent on tourism for decades.
Moreover, on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that a minimum of 14 dead dolphins has washed up on the coast of Mauritius, citing experts and environmental groups for the data. Meanwhile, there were also dolphins that have been stranded onshore and looked seriously ill, as stated by Sunil Dowarkasing, an environmental consultant.
According to Dowarkashing, the country has never seen the deaths of dolphins like this before. He also expressed frustration and stated that it is a terrible day for Mauritius.
Meanwhile, an official from the country's fisheries ministry Jasvin Sok Appadu stated that the number of dead dolphins is now at 17. He also added that the dead mammals have sustained several wounds on their jaws and around it. However, he noted that no trace of oil was found in their bodies.
In an interview with Reuters, Appadu stated that the dolphins that can barely swim and looked very fatigued.
Eco-Sud, a local environmental group in Mauritius, also called the government to publicize the results of the autopsy on the mammals. They also stated that they wanted to be present while the autopsy is being performed in order to completely understand the cause of the dolphins' death. At the moment, the group is still waiting for a response from the government.
Aside from the dolphins, reports also stated that melon-headed whales have also washed up on the coast of the country. The report stated that the whales washed up on the shores alive but died later on. The whales appeared to have sustained injuries.
While many have assumed that the death of the creatures was due to the oil spill, experts stated that it is still too soon to conclude anything.
At the moment, the country has already reached out to the United Nations for help regarding the oil spill and has also called on experts on environmental protection.