The aircraft carrier was ordered from US waters after federal officials said it had found an invading bug on board.
New Orleans Harbor Agricultural Expert Bugs found in shipping materials, some of which can kill trees It was left on the deck of Panjasmine, which arrived at the Davant harbor downstream from New Orleans on July 17, according to the US Customs and Border Protection.
The bug was found in a piece of wood called dunnage that was used to pack the aluminum cargo unloaded in Veracruz, Mexico, customs officials said Wednesday.
However, the dunnage was not unloaded at Veracruz and was left on the deck of the ship. This is what CBP describes as “unusual.”
“No reason was given to CBP as to why Dannage was denied evacuation in Mexico. It raised a red flag,” CBP said in a news release. “When I examined the dunnage, I found a hole near the hole and found fresh sawdust, which indicates a pest.”
Authorities investigated and found five different pests on board. Two of them (Cerambycidae and Myrmicinae) are “agricultural threats to the United States,” CBP says.
“The longhorn beetle of the family Cerambycidae contains many exotic species that pose a serious environmental threat,” says CBP. “Beetle larvae that bore invasive trees can eat a wide variety of trees in the United States and eventually kill them.”
The beetle, native to China and the Korean Peninsula, was discovered in New York City in 1996 and then in Chicago after being accidentally brought to the United States with wooden transportation materials.
“Within two years, the epidemic destroyed nearly 7,000 trees,” says CBP. “Recently, the USDA has estimated that Cerambycids and other Chinese woodboring beetles could cause more than $ 100 billion in damage to the US economy if left uncontrolled.”
The Myrmicinae Queen Ali, found on board, was also a concern as it could initiate colonies, CBP said.
Authorities say the other bugs they found have “established presence in the United States.”
According to CBP, the ship was ordered to leave the US waters immediately, load timber into the cargo hold, clean the deck, and then return home. On July 21st, I left for the Bahamas Freeport for a “dunnage disposal service”.
“If Dunnage had been unloaded to the United States, it would have been put into a landfill in Louisiana, where insects would crawl out and invade local habitats, causing immense damage,” said the New Orleans Port Director. Terry Edwards said. “Inspecting wood dunnage for otherwise legal cargo is one of the many lesser-known methods that help field operations agriculture specialist offices keep our country safe. “