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Mauritius oil spill likely to be cleaned up by January, ship owner says

CNN logo CNN 11/5/2020 Story by Reuters
This aerial picture taken on August 16, 2020, shows the MV Wakashio bulk carrier that had run aground and broke into two parts near Blue Bay Marine Park, Mauritius. - A ship that has leaked more than 1,000 tonnes of oil in pristine waters off the Mauritius coast has split into two, its Japanese operator said August 16, 2020. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP) (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images) © AFP via Getty Images This aerial picture taken on August 16, 2020, shows the MV Wakashio bulk carrier that had run aground and broke into two parts near Blue Bay Marine Park, Mauritius. - A ship that has leaked more than 1,000 tonnes of oil in pristine waters off the Mauritius coast has split into two, its Japanese operator said August 16, 2020. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP) (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

The clean-up of a massive oil spill in August from a vessel off Mauritius will likely be mostly completed by January, the bulk carrier's owner, Japan's Nagashiki Shipping, said Thursday.

Of the roughly 1,000 tons that spilled from the Panamanian-flagged MV Wakashio, all of the oil that had been floating in the ocean had been recovered, Nagashiki Shipping said in a statement.

Work to remove the oil along approximately 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of coastline was proceeding smoothly and would likely be completed by January, it said.

The vessel, chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, ran aground on a reef in Mauritius on July 25 and began leaking oil on August 6.

The spilt oil had spread over a vast area of endangered corals, affecting fish and other marine life in what some scientists have called the Indian Ocean island's worst ecological disaster.

Nagashiki Shipping also said the planned removal of the rear portion of the vessel would begin in late December and last several months. The front part was scuttled in August as instructed by local authorities.

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