Mauritius oil spill clean-up likely to be completed by January

Volunteers take part in the clean up operation in Mahebourg, Mauritius Wednesday Aug. 12, 2020 surrounding the oil spill from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius. Anxious residents of this Indian Ocean island nation have stuffed fabric sacks with sugar cane leaves in an effort to stop the oil spill from reaching their shores. (AP Photo/Beekash Roopun-L'express Maurice)
Volunteers take part in the cleanup operation in Mahebourg, Mauritius Wednesday Aug. 12, 2020 surrounding the oil spill from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius. Anxious residents of this Indian Ocean island nation have stuffed fabric sacks with sugar cane leaves in an effort to stop the oil spill from reaching their shores. (AP Photo/Beekash Roopun-L’express Maurice)

The clean-up of a massive oil spill in August from a vessel off Mauritius will likely be mostly completed by January.

In a statement, Nagashiki Shipping, the owner of the bulk carrier involved in the spill, said that all of the oil that had been floating in the ocean had been recovered. Roughly 1,000 tonnes of oil spilled from the Panamanian-flagged MV Wakashio.

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 oil spread over a vast area of endangered coral reefs, 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.