BIOSECURITY New Zealand announced it had directed the ro-ro Carmen (IMO 9505027) to leave Kiwi waters after stink bugs and other pests were discovered onboard.

Officers discovered three live and 39 dead brown marmorated stink bugs and 69 other dead regulated stink bugs after the vessel arrived in Auckland from Europe on Wednesday 28 November.

The vessel was carrying a range of vehicles from Europe and the US.

Biosecurity New Zealand border clearance services director Steve Gilbert said the interceptions indicated the cargo was likely to be infested with stink bugs.

“We also believed the ship itself was contaminated,” he said.

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

The vessel will be required to undergo treatment offshore before it can return.

“If permitted to come back, the vessel should also expect intensive inspection before we can allow any cargo to be discharged,” Mr Gilbert said.

The Carmen is the first cargo ship to be ordered to leave New Zealand since the beginning of this current stink bug season.

In February, Biosecurity New Zealand turned around four vessels arriving from abroad due to stink bug contamination.

The Sweden-flagged Carmen was built in 2011 and has a deadweight tonnage of 31,143. Current AIS data shows the vessel steaming north away from New Zealand.