Cargo ship carrying stink bugs turned away from NZ


Tuesday, 04 December, 2018


Cargo ship carrying stink bugs turned away from NZ

The threat of stink bugs and other regulated pests is still looming in New Zealand, with officials turning away a vehicle carrier after they were discovered on board.

Biosecurity New Zealand ordered the Carmen cargo ship to leave New Zealand waters after officers intercepted three live and 39 dead brown marmorated stink bugs and 69 other dead regulated stink bugs.

Steve Gilbert, Border Clearance Services Director at Biosecurity New Zealand, said: “The interceptions indicated the cargo was likely to be infested with stink bugs. We also believed the ship itself was contaminated.”

Stink bugs are an agricultural pest that have the potential to cause significant losses for commercial growers.

“We informed industry prior to the start of the season of our hard line on cargo vessels believed to be infested with stink bug,” said Gilbert. “This is about ensuring a dangerous pest does not get a chance to establish in New Zealand.”

The vessel left Auckland to be treated offshore and, if permitted to return, it will undergo intensive inspection before cargo is allowed to be discharged, Gilbert explained.

The cargo ship, which was carrying a range of vehicles from Europe and the United States, is the first to be ordered to leave the country since the beginning of the 2018–19 stink bug season in September. Biosecurity New Zealand also turned around four bulk carriers from Japan due to stink bug contamination in February.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/saccobent

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