AUSTRALIA has implemented stronger offshore biosecurity measures for the upcoming brown marmorated stink bug season.
Head of biosecurity at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Lyn O’Connell, said BMSB were a threat to agriculture and the environment, feeding on more than 300 different plants.
“Between September and April there is a heightened risk that BMSB could arrive in Australia on imported cargo, so enhanced measures are put in place during this period to manage the risk and keep this pest out,” Ms O’Connell said.
“This season we have new measures that will apply to a broader range of exporting countries and high-risk goods, which we have identified as the most likely pathway for BMSB.”
Ms O’Connell said the pest had spread across Europe, expanding the list of countries to which the new measures would be applied.
“There will also be heightened surveillance for cargo vessels and additional pre-arrival reporting for vessel operators, who will be required to undertake daily checks of their vessels and cargo for biosecurity risks,” she said.
“Certain high-risk goods may also require mandatory offshore treatment, but this must be undertaken by an approved offshore treatment provider that has registered with the Department.”
BMSB were noted as a biosecurity threat for Australia in 2014.
The Department says it has been engaging with industry on measures to manage the biosecurity risk and manage the movement of goods across borders.
“The approach we are taking ensures that we are focusing our biosecurity efforts and targeting areas that pose the highest risk,” Ms O’Connell said.
“Australia’s biosecurity will always be our priority and these BMSB measures are one more way our biosecurity system is protecting agricultural productivity and our valuable export markets.”