13 dolphins have been found dead on the seashore in Mauritius. The find comes more than a month after the huge oil spill caused by a Japanese-owned ship, MV Wakashio .
The BBC reports a post-mortem will establish whether the deaths were caused by the oil spill or the authorities’ decision to sink the ship’s stem. The authorities had last week decided to sink the front part of the vessel.
According to the BBC these are the first reported deaths of dolphins since the shipwreck. It reports that since the spill many fish and crabs have been found dead, and that it is rare for so many dead dolphins to be found at the same time.
The sight of dead dolphins has caused much anger among residents. Resident Nitin Jeeha said that witnessing so many dead dolphins on the seashore was worse than a nightmare. He blamed the island’s government, saying, “Many non-governmental organisations, fishermen, experts said not to sink that ship at the place they did as it was like a home for the dolphins but once again the authority took a bad decision.” He questioned whether there were more dead dolphins in the lagoon.
While 13 dolphins have been confirmed dead, the Department of Fisheries said other dolphins were weak or dying, when they were found on the seashore. Oceanographer Vassen Kauppaymuthoo said the dolphins smelled of fuel oil. He said he expected the situation to continue to deteriorate as time goes on. Meanwhile, Environmentalist Sunil Dowarkasing said, “This is just the beginning.”
Umm Muhammed Umar