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Calls For Fine For Owners Of Beetle-Carrying Vessel

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

THE docking and offloading of dunnage from a cargo vessel in Freeport with a shipment of wood infested with an invasive beetle have raised concerns among Bahamians who are calling for a huge fine to be levied on the owners of the vessel.

The Asian beetle is of the Cerambycidae family and is native to China and the Korean peninsula. It destroys crops and trees. The vessel, which was denied entry in the US by Federal Agents near New Orleans, left US waters on July 21 for Freeport for wood disposal services.

The vessel, “Pan Jasmine,” was allegedly docked at Bradford Marine, and the contaminated shipment was offloaded and transported to the landfill at Sanitation Services.

Environmentalist Joseph Darville is outraged and has called on Bahamian authorities to investigate the matter. He said it is believed the vessel failed to disclose that the cargo was contaminated and was brought for disposal.

Bahamians are also weighing in on the situation.

“It seems like our customs and border security are useless,” one person commented

Another individual commented: “Because they didn’t declare this serious infestation to us, I assume that they will never be allowed to enter our waters again and that a large fine will be sent to their head office?”

A third person said if the ship comes back in Bahamian waters it should be impounded. “There should be a massive fine for this,” the individual said.

Another person indicated that these things happen all the time. “Our government never does a thing about it. Landscape companies routinely import banned plants, ships routinely discard dunnage with no inspections or approvals by customs.”

A fifth person suggested that the shipment be burned immediately.

“It is probably a good idea to stop dunnage offloads, it's not exactly a huge business. Just stop allowing it,” the individual said.

Joseph Darville is chairman of Save the Bays, an environmental group in the Bahamas.

Comments

tribanon 3 months, 4 weeks ago

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "dunnage" as loose materials used to support and protect cargo in a ship's hold; also the padding in a shipping container.

Why on earth are we as a small tourism dependent nation with limited land area permitting such junk to be dumped on us?

Who in our country did the owners or persons leasing this bulk carrier vessel pay for the ability to dump this poisonous junk on us?

Who owns the land in Grand Bahama where this dumped poisonous junk ended up?

And why haven't the minister of environment (Romauld Ferreira) and minister of agriculture (Michael Pintard) offered any explanations as to who authorised this poisonous dumping and what, if anything, government intends to do about this most ferocious and invasive monster beetle? Is no one going to be held accountable?

The Tribune's low-cost, low-quality reporting is truly frustrating for many of its readers.

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sage 3 months, 4 weeks ago

The Miami Herald had this story on its front page from earlier in the week. The US Customs ushered this craft out of its waters from more than a week ago. So you mean to tell me...no one is monitoring what is being dumped in our country? We do not have a propocol to verify that what enter is in compiance with our standards? What kinda idiots do we have running this clown show of a country??? Who dumps wood eating beetles on an island that has a huge pine forst? I mean you cannot make this crap up! Which Ministry will take respsibility for this debacle? Will the Agriculure folks? THe Environment Folks? THe BEST folks??? Who..

Will heads roll? Will a full report be tabled in Parliament? When will we get serious about this nation?

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JokeyJack 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Nobody haa stated if these beetles have been vaccinated.

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tribanon 3 months, 3 weeks ago

This is not a situation to be taken lightly. These aggressive longhorned super beetles from Red China reproduce at an incredible rate and have a voracious appetite. They are quite capable of devouring most of the pine trees on any of our islands they spread to over the course of the next decade or so.

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Bobsyeruncle 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Agreed !, But them beetles going to go hungry on Grand Bahama. From what I've seen, Dorian took out most of the pine trees on the north shore

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