Concerns About Tampering With Oil Fingerprinting In Mauritius Spill Ship Wakashio

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Newspaper reports in Mauritius this week have raised concerns about tampering with the oil fingerprinting linked to the Japanese-owned vessel, the Wakashio. 

The vessel ran aground amid a network of highly protected areas in Mauritius at the end of July, and was responsible for the biggest oil spill in Mauritius history 12 days later, setting off a State of National Environmental Emergency in the country and an ecological crisis as endangered species on a highly protected reserve were directly impacted by the spill.

In the national Mauritian newspaper, the Le Mauricien on 4 October 2020, a full page is devoted to the concerns about the handling of the oil fingerprinting by the crew of the Wakashio

This comes amid questions about the role of the IMO and ITOPF in not facilitating the rapid oil fingerprinting as thousands of animals have now washed up dead in the South of Mauritius, over 50 whales and dolphins have died, and an entire island of highly endangered species are at risk.

This oil fingerprinting is crucial to understand the potential long-term impacts on these species, as it acts as a DNA signature to help scientists model the impact of the oil on Mauritius’ unique ecosystem.

Serious flaws in handling of oil samples to date

In the article published on October 4, the newspaper identifies several serious flaws with the way the oil sample could