At least 13 dead dolphins washed up on Mauritian sea shores about one month after the Japanese tanker MV Wakashio spilled over 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil into the country’s waters, the BBC reports.
Environmental campaigners say the deaths may have been caused either by the spilled oil or by a decision to sink the ship’s stem.
Post-mortem tests are expected to be conducted on the dolphins to ascertain the cause of their deaths.
The Japanese bulk carrier struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island nation on July 25, causing the massive spill and triggering a state of “environmental emergency”.
The carrier split in mid-August, and the oil spill spread over a vast area of endangered corals, fish and other marine life in what some scientists called the country’s worst ecological disaster.
Scientists say the full impact of the spill is still unfolding, but the damage could affect Mauritius and its tourism-dependent economy for decades. Removing the ship is likely to take months.
(With input from agencies)