Car Carrier Denied Entry to Australia Due to Stink Bugs

stink bug

Published Dec 8, 2019 6:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

The car carrier Orca Ace, carrying over 3,500 cars and heavy machinery, has been refused entry into Australia because of the potential biosecurity risk she poses due to brown marmorated stink bugs.

Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, said entry of stink bugs could have a decimating impact on Australia’s agricultural crops and horticulture, if established here. “Just as concerning is the impact these bugs can have on all of us. They are a real headache for residents creeping into homes when the weather gets cooler, letting off an unpleasant smell, and they’re hard to kill.”

The bugs entered the U.S. in the late 1990s and are now widely established. They are also spreading across Europe and are now in several countries including Italy, Greece, Georgia and Romania. 

“In the worst affected regions farmers have lost more than 90 percent of their crop. In Australia that could equate to losses of more than A$20 billion nation-wide,” says McKenzie. “Our biosecurity system protects A$6 trillion worth of assets including our A$60 billion agricultural industries. 

Last year, 312 brown marmorated stink bug detections were made on vessels and goods arriving in Australia, and so far this year 54 detections have been made. The bugs are less than two centimeters long, making detection difficult.