BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
RECENT findings of the Rhinoceros beetle on one of the islands of the Russell group has prompted the government and the palmoil taskforce to meet with canoe owners this week.
Last week the taskforce blew the horn on the finding in one of the islands.
In its report, the taskforce believes that since the island is too far for the insect to reach it by flying, it must have been brought there via canoe.
With this alarming news, the Bio-security Solomon Islands (BSI) is planning to meet with boat owners to discuss how they can cooperate to try to stop this from happening elsewhere.
The meeting with boat owners will be held at the Kairos Meeting room, Hyundai Mall tomorrow, March 27, at 12pm.
The meeting will discuss how boat owners can help in stopping the spread of the pest.
BSI is hoping to impart tips on how to locate and destroy stowaway insects on board their vessels.
This follows on how to ensure passengers too are not accidentally carrying beetles, BSI said.
“If effective voluntary methods cannot be agreed then BSI will have to consider imposing legal restrictions on what cargoes can be carried and perhaps imposing fines on boat owners who carry beetles, even accidentally.”
BSI advises all boat owners in Honiara or even from other provinces to attend this important meeting although they have not received an invitation.
“BSI welcomes canoe drivers to the meeting, and it is important that they too are aware of the responsibility they carry,” BSI said.