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MV Wakashio: Environmental monitoring of terrestrial and marine resources

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Govt. Mauritius
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GIS – 28 August 2020: A continuous environmental monitoring of terrestrial and marine resources is being maintained by the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change and key stakeholders following the grounding of MV Wakashio at Pointe d’Esny and the resulting oil spill in the region. This exercise comprises the monitoring of coastal water quality, sediments, air quality as well as an ecosystem survey for the benefit of the local population.

The monitoring is being done with the collaboration of the National Environmental Laboratory (NEL), the Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) and the Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI).

An integrated monitoring programme was set up, as from 07 August 2020, among NEL, AFRC and MOI for the affected sites. The number of coastal sites monitored was increased to 27 covering the regions from La Cambuse to Trou D’eau Douce. The AFRC and MOI are also conducting ecological surveys using rapid assessment techniques to assess the impact of the oil spill on the ecosystems in the affected areas.

These institutions are working with experts from the International Maritime Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme, United Kingdom, Japan and local experts to devise a strategy for the long-term monitoring of the socio-economic and environmental impact of the oil spillage.

Furthermore, an air quality surveillance programme was carried out by NEL at eight residential areas and 17 schools in the affected regions since 08 August 2020 on a daily basis. The results revealed that Volatile Organic Compounds, which could affect the health of the residents within the affected areas, were not detected in the air of the region.

As at date, continuous monitoring has shown that there has been a significant decrease in the level of Oil and Grease in the coastal water quality. This has been achieved following actions of the authorities, volunteers and Non-Governmental organisations.

Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org Website: http://gis.govmu.org Mobile App: Search Gov