A pest so threatening to horticulture that it has sparked overhauls in shipping protocols into Australia and New Zealand has been found in a southern suburb of Perth, Western Australia.
In an announcement today (Feb. 23), the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) reported live and dead brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) had been found in imported cargo at a warehouse in Jandakot.
The department has conducting biosecurity actions at the site including spraying and surveillance, with further biosecurity measures will be considered pending the results of surveillance activities.
The pest is most commonly found on goods arriving in Australia between September and April, and caused a scare in December when it was found on the other side of the country in Sydney.
“Australia has strict import conditions, as well as measures offshore, at the border and onshore to manage biosecurity risks. Established response plans are also in place to effectively manage biosecurity pest detections,” the department said.
Earlier this year New Zealand authorities strengthened the biosecurity requirements placed on Italian shipping containers, leading Australia to follow suit with an offshore treatment protocol for containerized goods from the European country.
DAWR has also announced today it will be increasing the assessment and inspection of all roll-on/roll-off (ro‑ro) vessels as of Monday, Feb. 26.
“Ro-ro vessels may receive a BMSB questionnaire via MARS, as part of the pre-arrival reporting process, for the purpose of assessing the level of biosecurity risk associated with the vessel,” the department said.
“Vessels that report the presence of BMSB may be asked to conduct further daily inspections to determine the extent of the infestation.
“Following assessment the department may require treatment of the vessel at anchorage to manage an unacceptable level of biosecurity risk.”
This activity is expected to conclude at the end of the BMSB risk season on 30 April 2018.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons