When the bugs came knock­ing

Dur­ing rou­tine on-ar­rival sur­veil­lance on board the ves­sel [the first Ja­pa­nese used car car­rier to be turned away from the Port of Auck­land], MPI quar­an­tine of­fi­cers found 50 dead brown mar­morated stink bugs and one live spec­i­men. In ad­di­tion the quar­anti

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As the ves­sel had been dis­charg­ing ve­hi­cles whilst the MPI sur­veil­lance was oc­cur­ring the ves­sel was di­rected to cease dis­charge, raise the ramp and seal the ves­sel. The MPI team at Auck­land Port is­sued a di­rec­tion to treat the ves­sel, and the cargo therein, with a knock down spray. Fol­low­ing the stand down pe­riod a fur­ther ver­i­fi­ca­tion in­spec­tion was con­ducted and more dead brown mar­morated stink bugs and a to­tal of 19 live yel­low stink bugs were found.

The MPI team as­sessed the risk as­so­ci­ated with the about 900 cars that had al­ready been dis­charged to the port. An MPI hold was placed on these ve­hi­cles pre­vent­ing their re­moval from the port. A com­bi­na­tion of pes­ti­gas and ag­i­ta­tion spray was ap­plied to a 20% sam­ple of the dis­charged ve­hi­cles. A small num­ber of dead brown mar­morated stink bugs were found. What hap­pened on that fate­ful day in Fe­bru­ary in the Port of Auck­land when stink bugs and used cars col­lided? Dur­ing the af­ter­noon of Fe­bru­ary 7 an MPI de­tec­tor dog team was de­ployed to in­spect the re­main­ing ve­hi­cles on the port. The de­tec­tor dog in­di­cated on 26 ve­hi­cles, four of which were very strong in­di­ca­tions. Those four ve­hi­cles were sent for heat treat­ment. A fur­ther 12 brown mar­morated stink bugs were found in the heat treat­ment cham­ber fol­low­ing treat­ment.

Given the num­ber of or­gan­isms found both on board the ves­sel, and in the dis­charged ve­hi­cles, MPI de­cided to mit­i­gate the risk by reload­ing the ve­hi­cles onto the ves­sel and di­rect­ing re-ship­ment of the en­tire cargo. The direc­tions in­clude the re­quire­ment to treat both the ves­sel and cargo off­shore, prior to re­turn­ing to New Zealand.

Due to prob­lems reload­ing the ves­sel 25 pieces of heavy ma­chin­ery re­mained on the port and were fu­mi­gated on the port.

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