Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth declared a state of environmental emergency after a vessel offshore, MV Wakashio,abandoned after an accident in July in the Indian Ocean when it was en route from China to Brazil, began leaking oil into the ocean. It begun leaking tons of fuel into the surrounding waters. The ship, owned by a Japanese company, had some 4,000 tonnes of fuel aboard. Satellite images showed a dark slick spreading in the turquoise waters near environmental areas that the government called “very sensitive”. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth declared the nation did not have “the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships” as he appealed to France for help. Mauritius is home to world-renowned coral reefs, and tourism is a crucial part of the nation’s economy. The French embassy in Mauritius said a military aircraft from Reunion would bring pollution control equipment to Mauritius. The ship’s owner, Nagashiki Shipping, said „oil prevention measures are in place and an oil boom has been deployed around the vessel,” adding that „it takes its environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and will take every effort with partner agencies and contractors to protect the marine environment and prevent further pollution”. “Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’s economy, food security and health,” Greenpeace Africa’s climate and energy manager Happy Khambule said in a statement.