Mauritius asks Japan for $34 Million Over Wakashio Oil Spill

Mauritius has demanded that Japan pay 1.34 billion Mauritian rupees (almost $34 million) to help fishermen affected by a catastrophic oil spill caused by a Japanese vessel.

Mauritius has estimated the construction of 100 fishing boats will require 1.2 billion rupees, with 9.7 million rupees needed to provide training for 475 fishermen and 60 skippers unaccustomed to fishing in rough seas, Japan’s Kyodo News reported late Tuesday, citing a Mauritian government document, Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.

Mauritius also requested 134 million rupees for the renovation of the Albion Fisheries Research Centre, built in the 1980s with the assistance of Japan, and to provide training to staff there, Kyodo added.

The vessel owned by Nagashiki Shipping in Japan was carrying 4,000 tons of fuel oil when it ran aground near the Indian Ocean island on July 25 and spilt 1,000 tons of its cargo into the pristine coastal waters.

Nagashiki confirmed in mid-August that it had removed almost all of the 3,000 tons of oil left on the ship.

Also on Tuesday, two crew members involved in the clean-up operation in Mauritius were killed after their tugboat hit a barge and sank, local officials said.

Two further crew members were still missing at sea after the accident late Monday night, said Jasvin Sok Appadu, a spokesman at the Mauritian Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping.