17 dead dolphins wash up in Mauritius #Dolphins #Mauritius
At least 17 dead dolphins washed up on Mauritius’ beaches Wednesday, raising questions about what effect the oil spilled from the Japanese cargo tanker MV Wakashio, which ran aground on July 25, is having on marine life surrounding the Indian Ocean island-nation, according to Reuters.
As thousands of tons of fuel spilled into the ocean, activists and scientists were quick to warn that an ecological disaster was in the making as the island’s unique coral species and fish would be threatened. Now, the death of a significant portion of a dolphin pod may be a signal of the cascading effects from the spill, according to the BBC.
While the fisheries ministry says the dolphins were killed by sharks, environmental campaigners are calling for a probe to find out if the deaths are connected to the spill.
“The dead dolphins had several wounds and blood around their jaws, no trace of oil however. The ones that survived, around ten, seemed very fatigued and could barely swim,” said Jasvin Sok Appadu from the fisheries ministry, as Reuters reported.
However, Greenpeace Africa finds the timing raises doubts.
“This is a deeply sad and alarming day for the people of Mauritius,” Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa’s senior climate and energy campaign manager, said in a statement on Wednesday, as Al-Jazeera reported. “Greenpeace appeals to the authorities to carry out a swift, transparent and public autopsy on the bodies collected.”
In a tweet, Greenpeace Africa said, “this incident must be investigated fully and transparently! If the oil spill was indeed the cause of this tragedy, then the polluters must be held accountable for the harm done to coastal communities and their #Biodiversity.”
Courtesy of ecowatch.com