29 Nov 2018

Ship infested with dangerous stink bugs turned back

4:50 pm on 29 November 2018

Biosecurity New Zealand has ordered a cargo ship infested with stink bugs and pests to leave the country.

Stink bug (Eocanthecona  furcellata) on green leaves.

Officers seized three live and 39 dead marmorated stink bugs. Photo: 123RF

Officers seized three live and 39 dead marmorated stink bugs, which are considered a dangerous pest in New Zealand.

More than 60 other dead stink bugs were also discovered onboard The Carmen by biosecurity officers.

"We also believed the ship itself was contaminated," said Steve Gilbert, border clearance services director.

He said the agency had informed industry in September - before the beginning of stink bug season - that it would be taking a hardline approach to infested cargo vessels.

"This is about ensuring a dangerous pest does not get a chance to establish in New Zealand."

The ship was carrying vehicles from Europe and the United States.

It left Auckland this afternoon.

"The vessel will now have to be treated offshore before it can return," said Mr Gilbert.

"If permitted to come back, the vessel should also expect intensive inspection before we allow any cargo to be discharged."

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