abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapelocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewprofilerefreshnewssearchsecurityPathtagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb
Article

Explainer: Who pays for Mauritius oil spill and how much?

A Japanese bulk carrier struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius on July 25, spilling about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil and triggering a state of “environmental emergency”. Scientists say the spill is the country’s worst ecological disaster, killing wildlife and damaging pristine waters that attract tourists from around the globe...The following lays out the legal implications...

The owner and operator of the ship is Nagashiki Shipping, an Okayama, Japan-based private company...With a crew of 20 sailors the Panama-flagged vessel was on course for Brazil to pick up iron ore, according to Mitsui OSK, which chartered the ship...The MV Wakashio passed an annual inspection in March without any problems, Japan’s ClassNK inspection body has said...

Under the 2001 International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution damage...the owners of vessels are responsible for damage caused by oil leaks. That means Nagashiki rather than Mitsui OSK is liable...Compensation amounts paid by ship owners are governed by the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims and a subsequent amended convention agreed in 1996...According to Toda Law Office in Tokyo, Mauritius has ratified the 1976 version, which limits payments to 2 billion yen ($18.7 million) while Japan has signed the 1996 document which has an upper limit of 7 billion yen. It will be up to any court ruling on compensation to decide which one applies in this case...

Story Timeline