Increased cruise ship biosecurity a welcome result
Increased cruise ship biosecurity a welcome result for kiwifruit
The Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) announcement to beef up biosecurity on incoming cruise ships is a welcome result for the kiwifruit industry.
Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) Chief Executive, Barry O’Neil, says KVH has been working with MPI for increased border interventions on the cruise ship pathway, and supports the work being done to address the increasing risks.
“The cruise ship pathway is one the kiwifruit industry is concerned about so we are fully supportive of MPI’s proactive approach following a cruise ship passenger risk review.”
“These ships enter New Zealand waters from Australia or the Pacific Islands—regions harbouring high-risk pests and diseases including fruit flies, which are the greatest biosecurity threat to New Zealand’s horticultural industries.”
“Cruise ships are a major source of tourism for New Zealand and as an industry it is growing rapidly. With passenger numbers escalating to more than 267,000 for the national 2015/16 season, the risk of biosecurity threats entering New Zealand also rises significantly.”
KVH is also advocating for all fruit and vegetables loaded onto New Zealand-bound cruise vessels to meet New Zealand import standards. This means the produce would have the same status as fruit and vegetables bought from local supermarkets and carry minimal biosecurity risk.
“We believe this would be an effective approach to not only reduce the overall risk of cruise ship passengers, but also minimise the inspections and passenger disruption at this end.”