A NIGERIAN-flagged ro-ro has been expelled from Australian waters following the discovery of the dreaded brown marmorated stink bug.
The Triumph (IMO 9432892) owned by Armacup had come through multiple ports and is now on its way back to China.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture said the vessel was subject to heightened vessel surveillance for BMSB before its arrival at Brisbane.
According to the spokesperson, the department performed a routine inspection of the vessel where “a significant number” of exotic stink bugs (including BMSB) were detected.
The vessel was directed to anchor at sea, pending a risk management proposal to be provided to the department for consideration and approval.
Further inspections occurred with further detections.
“This indicates that there is likely a residual live population on board that remains undetected,” the spokesperson said.
“It posed an unacceptable risk for Australia, so it was directed to leave Australian waters. The department is confident that any risks posed by the ship arriving at the port have been effectively managed.”
Agriculture minister David Littleproud said it was important to take a strong stance.
“If we don’t protect our borders from invading pests and diseases, we could lose our $60bn farm industries,” Mr Littleproud said.
“We won’t shirk the tough decisions – our $60bn farm industry must be kept safe.
“These bugs eat everything from tomatoes to apples and broccoli to beans. They also gather in people’s houses and stink to high heaven.”
The Federal Department of Agriculture has put in heightened surveillance for cargo vessels and additional pre-arrival reporting in place across extra exporting countries and goods this BMSB season.