Almost all the fuel oil from the MV Wakashio, the Japanese-owned ship that has caused a huge oil spill off the coast of Mauritius has been pumped out, according to Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, the BBC reports.
The operation had been a race against time amid fears that the MV Wakashio would break up, after a crack in its hull that caused the oil spill was reported to be widening.
The fuel has been transferred to shore by helicopter and to another ship owned by the same Japanese firm that owns the MV Wakashio, Nagashiki Shipping.
Prime Minister Jugnauth said more than 3,000 of the 4,000 tonnes of oil from the ship's fuel reservoirs had been pumped out and a small amount remained onboard elsewhere.
Despite the oil spill causing potential devastating effects to Mauritius’ ecosystem, including world-renowned coral reefs, which are popular with tourists, the pumping of oil out of the ship will offer some hope to the country’s tourism sector.
Mauritius’ tourism sector is expected to take a hit from the pollution caused by the oil spill, according to environmental agency Greenpeace, which is itself involved in the efforts to mitigate the effects of the oil spill.
Picture credit: marinelink.com