Cargo Ship Infested with Insects Ordered to Leave New Orleans
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently refused entry into the Port of New Orleans for a cargo ship and ordered it to depart U.S. waters after an inspection found invasive insects aboard the vessel. As part of the ongoing role of CBP, this incident also highlights a broader issue which is drawing increased interest from international organizations to reduce the risk of the spread of invasive insects and plants during cargo operations.
In the most recent incident, a Panamanian-registered bulker, the 32,599 dwt Pan Jasmine, arrived at the Port of New Orleans on July 17 and anchored just south of the port. The vessel had started its voyage in Paradip, India, and among the cargo was a shipment of aluminum held in place aboard the ship with wood packing. Arriving in Vera Cruz, Mexico the aluminum was offloaded before the vessel continued to New Orleans.
During a routine inspection, agriculture specialists from CBP observed the wood packing material scattered around the deck of the vessel. It had not been offloaded with the cargo in Mexico. The sight of the wood on the deck appeared unusual to the agents.
“No reason was provided to CBP as to why the dunnage was refused discharge in Mexico, and this raised a red flag,” said CBP. During a closer examination of the wood material, the U.S. team saw fresh sawdust on the deck and what appeared to be burrowing ho....