Mitsui O.S.K. Lines says it believes more than 1,000 tons of oil have leaked from a bulk carrier that ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean on July 25.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines chartered the carrier, Wakashio, which is owned by Nagashiki Shipping. The two companies held a news conference in Tokyo on Sunday.
They said one of the fuel tanks at the rear of the ship cracked on Thursday.
They said they are working to protect the waterfowl and other rare marine life that inhabit the reef by setting up oil fences to collect the fuel and prevent it from spreading.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Representative Director Ono Akihiko said the company offered its deepest apology to Mauritius and other concerned parties for the trouble it has caused.
He said his company will make its best efforts to minimize the impact.
Nagashiki Shipping President Nagashiki Kiyoaki said it is unclear how long it will take to collect the fuel, but the company will do everything it can to prevent the oil from spreading.