Major Oil Spills in Mauritius and Venezuela put Ecosystems in Peril in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean
In a short period of time, two major Oil spills have put in danger marine life and coastal communities in the Mauritius coast of the Indian Ocean and on the other side of the world, the Caribbean coast of Venezuela in South America.
An aerial view taken last week shows a large patch of leaked oil off the coast of south-east Mauritius. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
On July 25th, an oil ship ran aground in the sea south-east of Mauritius and over 1,000 tonnes of oil have spilled from the ship polluting beaches, coral reefs, and pristine lagoons. Experts say that an extra 2,500 tonnes of oil is still on the ship and expected to spill as cracks in the ship continue to grow.
Local communities who were already having a difficult time because of the pandemic are now facing an environmental catastrophe. Moreover, the Mauritius economy strongly relies on its coastal ecosystem for ecotourism and food source. Although France and Japan have offered help, volunteers and local residents are taking the issue in their hands in a desperate attempt to clean the oil and prevent it from spreading.
On the other side of the world, as early as August 2nd, a dark stain of oil washed in the shore of Morrocoy National Park in Falcon, Venezuela. The marine reserve of the park is at risk affecting sea turtles, dolphins, coral reefs, and mangroves. The source of the spill comes from a cargo ship departing from La Guaira.