On the 12th September Ocean Rebellion protestors projected a short film onto the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to highlight the tragic oil spill that took place over a year ago off the coast of Mauritius. The film catalogues the errors that led to one of the worst environmental emergencies in recent years.
It shows how a super pollutant - known as ‘Frankenstein fuel’ and made from a cocktail of chemicals including Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), leftover aviation fuel, car tyres and plastic bags - may have led to the oil spill disaster off the coast of Mauritius.
The film projection began just after 19.45 on the offices of the United Nations International Maritime Organisation as a reminder that despite the IMO being the body which holds the power to regulate global shipping emissions and protect precious marine environments, they continue to put short-term and misguided economic interests before the environment. The IMO is the UN Agency responsible for preventing shipping pollution, and has time and again colluded with the shipping industry to do just the opposite.
Protestors also chalk-sprayed the words of Matthew Sommerville, who told islanders that the destructive oil is “just like skin cream” onto the ground outside the organisation.
More than one year on. Neither the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, French Government, MOL or BP have provided the original fuel samples – vital to enable understanding of the impact on the ocean and human health of this experimental fuel.
Like us, you probably have a few demands. How about these….?
We demand that the G20 investigates the root cause of the Wakashio grounding and oil spill. Including full disclosure of who knew what and when.
We demand full transparency on VLSFO fuels and associated engine failures
We demand enforceable climate ambition on shipping emissions
And that the G20 spearheads an overhaul of the IMO.
That’s not too much to ask is it?
Sophie Miller a spokesperson for the group said “After Japan's disastrous oil spill on Mauritius, our demand is simple: Get Ships Off Fossil Fuels, to prevent repeated negligent fossil fuel spills, protect people's livelihoods and to protect our climate from fossil-fuelled breakdown.”
She added “We say never again must disasters like the Wakashio disaster in Mauritius be allowed to happen. This Japan owned and Panama flagged vessel has spilled an estimated 1,000 tons of oil and decimated an entire ecosystem.”
And while the IMO is about it, it may as well come clean on whatever it is that has been smeared across Mauritius’s once pristine beaches. Why have the samples not been released? The IMO claims it's just like skin cream. The World Health Organisation (WHO) disagrees.’
We demand they #SortYourShipOut and #GetShipsOffFossilFuels