POLICIES aimed at preventing a brown marmorated stink bug incursion have proven effective this year, a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture says.

This followed a recent case where the vessel Dugong Ace was directed to leave Australian territory before Christmas after it was assessed as posing an “unacceptable biosecurity risk” following the detection of stink bugs and other seasonal pests.

“Since leaving Australia, the operator of the vessel has worked with the department to develop a plan to manage the biosecurity risk associated with the vessel and its cargo,” the spokesperson said.

“The vessel operator is currently implementing this plan.”

Two vessels have been turned away this season, the Dugong Ace and the Orca Ace.

“While we are just over the half-way point of the 2019-20 BMSB season, the policies put in place for this season have so far been effective, with few live detections found on the targeted pathways,” the spokesperson said.

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“In the coming months the department will begin to review the 2019-20 BMSB season and potential risk countries and tariffs for the 2020-21 BMSB season.”

According to the Department, for the 2019-2020 BMSB risk season (as at 8 January 2020), there have been 115 detections of BMSB (live and dead), as compared with 312 detections for the entire 2018-19 BMSB season.

Live detections have included:

  • 8 detections associated with BMSB and other hitchhiker pests on commercial vessels (mainly vehicle carrier vessels)
  • 3 detections associated in the traveller pathway
  • 3 detection associated with air cargo
  • 8 detections associated with sea cargo.

“The department is continuing to monitor the spread and establishment of BMSB, and will review the measures based on detections BMSB and the risk pathways, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the risk to Australia is managed,” the spokesperson said.

“In addition to the seasonal measures, the department has increased intervention for onshore inspections for certain goods shipped from identified emerging risk countries.”

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