Mitsui Osk Line’s (MOL) have announced a plan to deal with the current biosecurity risk posed by a large quantity of stinkbugs found on board their cargo ship, the Courageous Ace.
On Friday, MOL spokesman Yaro Nikitin said in an email to customers that live Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSBs) were discovered on board the vessel on February 6.
The vessel was then treated as per the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) direction the following day but an MPI inspection on February 8 “revealed a significantly large quantity of alive BMSBs”.
“Due to the biosecurity risk that the vessel poses to the New Zealand economy, MPI have directed us to re-load all import cargo onto the vessel and undertake treatment offshore,” said MOL spokesman, Yaro Nikitin.
An MOL spokesman spoken to by Autofile on Friday said MOL and MPI were looking into further options to ensure the bugs are fumigated before the ship can return to the Ports of Auckland.
At present, the Courageous Ace is drifting off New Zealand, however a plan has been revealed for the vessel to head to Australia to carry out the fumigation process.
Once MOL have finalised a port in Australia and the required fumigation process has been completed, the Courageous Ace is expected to return to Auckland in approximately 10-12 days.