A boat carrying cars and machinery has been sent home after bugs, including more than hundred brown marmorated stink bugs, were found onboard.
The Triumph, owned by Armacup, had come through multiple ports and is now on its way back to China.
Brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) can cause physical damage to grapevine berries, predisposing them to bunch rots and yield loss. They are also known to cause wine taint if they end up in ferments.
“Department of Agriculture inspections found more than a hundred brown marmorated stink bugs and other bugs on the Triumph, which indicates a live population on the boat. These bugs eat everything from tomatoes to apples and broccoli to beans. They also gather in people’s houses and stink to high heaven,” said Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud.
“The risk to our industry was unacceptable. We directed the vessel to leave our waters, which it now has. I thank the shipping line and operator for openly cooperating with us on the issue.
“Australia is extremely lucky to be relatively isolated by sea, which helps us keep pests and diseases out,” Minister Littleproud said.
BMSB feeds on over 300 plant species, including fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants. Stink bugs could risk Australia’s $12 billion horticulture industry and also hurt other parts of our $60 billion agricultural industry.
Photo source: Australian Government, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources