BSI sets strategy to slow down rhino beetle

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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

BIOSECURITY Solomon Islands (BSI) has come up with strategies to battle the coconut rhinoceros beetle during a workshop with domestic shipping companies in Honiara recently.

Although the meeting was short, the outcome was positive as domestic shipping companies in the country agreed to help with slowing down the movement of coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) around the country.

Coordinator of CRB, Bob Macfarlane said they hope that companies would take the issue seriously and suggest practical ideas that could be put in place without the need for legislation.

Mr Macfarlane said, “Industry is very willing to cooperate with Biosecurity Solomon Islands (BSI), and industry is interested in agreeing a MoU about management of CRB with MAL/BSI, perhaps via the Solomon Islands Maritime Transport Association (SIMTA).”

He adds, the industry is happy for BSI to train captains and crews to recognise CRB and high risk cargoes.

Macfarlane said strategies recommended as outcome from the workshop is ship owners will consider trying to arrange all loading and departures for daylight hours whenever possible.

To slow movement of beetle, ship owners would educate public through displayed posters and stickers onboard and make announcements about the control of CRB.

Passenger boat owners will display videos about CRB when provided by BSI, he said.

Macfarlane said BSI will follow up on these ideas over the next few weeks and try to continue to interact with the industry, particularly the logging industry.

He said they hope to foster responsible shipping arrangements to slow down the spread of CRB without resorting to legislation.

More than 30 local shipping and logging companies were invited to attend the workshop but only four large shipping companies plus two small companies from Russell Islands and a canoe driver bothered to turn up. No logging company attended.

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