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Still fighting to keep stink bugs off Australian shores

Australian officials have directed a second vessel to leave Australian Territory, as a result of significant risks associated with brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB). Following reports from the vessel operator that exotic insects had been found on board, the vessel was directed to remain at anchorage at a safe distance from Australia’s shores.

The vessel arrived at Fremantle port. No cargo was off-loaded and the vessel did not visit any other Australian ports. While it was anchored off-shore, biosecurity officers conducted an inspection and six different species of exotic insects, including BMSB, were detected.

The department considered these findings, along with the risk management plan submitted by the vessel operator, and concluded that the vessel posed an unacceptable risk for Australia. The BMSB is a significant threat for Australia’s $12 billion horticulture industries, because of its wide host range and the damage it can do to vegetable crops and fruit and ornamental trees.

BMSB are a threat to agricultural industries and the environment, feeding on over 300 different plant species. They are also a threat to public amenity and human health. According to, biosecurity officers have managed a number of BMSB detections at the border this season and continues to review all detections and the risk pathways to adjust import measures as needed.

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