A bulk carrier from Japan has been directed to leave New Zealand waters after stink bugs were found on the vessel - making this Japan's fourth bulk carrier ordered to leave by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
The Glovis Caravel was ordered to leave New Zealand yesterday evening after the crew reported finding nearly 600 stink bugs, 12 of them alive, while the vessel was anchored near Auckland.
"Even though the vessel was sealed, we assessed the risk was too high for it to remain in New Zealand waters. It will now have to be treated off shore before it can return," says Steve Gilbert, MPI Border Clearance Services Director.
MPI has increased its border inspection and verification of bulk carriers arriving from Japan following a recent jump in detections of brown marmorated stink bug.
"Some of the carriers arriving New Zealand require no further action, but where there is contamination we have the option of denying entry.
"We firmly believe our actions to date have prevented stink bugs from getting past the New Zealand border and welcome the support we have been getting from a range of industries.
"Everyone appreciates a brown marmorated stink bug incursion could have a devastating impact on New Zealand agriculture."
An economic report, released on Tuesday, says if the stink bug managed to establish itself in New Zealand it would dramatically impact the country's gross domestic product (GDP), as well as export revenues from horticulture.
The economic impacts of a stink bug incursion in New Zealand, shows the GDP falling between $1.8 billion and $3.6b by 2038, and horticulture export value falling between $2b and $4.2b by 2038, the report said.
The report confirms that the brown marmorated stink bug is one of the wine industry's highest threat biosecurity risks, says NZ Winegrowers biosecurity and emergency response manager Dr Edwin Massey.
"Working through the Government Industry Agreement, we are committed to working with the Crown and other industry groups to mitigate this risk as much as possible," Dr Massey said.
MPI announced last week all used vehicles will undergo inspection and cleaning at an MPI-approved facility in Japan prior to export. Any used machinery will require certification proving it has undergone cleaning by an appropriate provider.
- NZN and staff reporter