As mealybugs gain a foothold in Central Otago, grapegrowers are being urged to be vigilant for signs of Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus Type 3 (leafroll 3) in vines.
Biosecurity officers intercepted three live and 39 dead brown marmorated stink bugs and 69 other dead regulated stink bugs after the Carmen arrived in Auckland from Europe on Wednesday morning.
The vessel was carrying a range of vehicles from Europe and the US.
“The interceptions indicated the cargo was likely to be infested with stink bugs. We also believed the ship itself was contaminated,” says Steve Gilbert, Border Clearance Services Director, Biosecurity NZ.
“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 in New Zealand.”
The vessel left Auckland earlier this afternoon. The vessel will now have to be treated off shore before it can return.
“If permitted to come back, the vessel should also expect intensive inspection before we allow any cargo to be discharged,” says Gilbert.
The Carmen is the first cargo ship to be ordered to leave New Zealand since the beginning of the 2018/19 stink bug season in September. In February, Biosecurity NZ turned around four bulk carriers arriving from Japan due to stink bug contamination.