Vanuatu Maritime Regulator not aware of rhino beetle state of emergency

The Office of Vanuatu's Maritime Regulator says it was not aware of a state of emergency order in place to control the spread of the rhinoceros beetle.

The beetle has already devastated coconut plantations across the region and has started to impact areas in North East Efate.

A state of emergency order was put in place to control the movement of vessels and vehicles from the infested area.

However, the maritime regulator's legal adviser Lloyd Fikiasi told the Daily Post newspaper his office was not aware of the order, which was enforced by the Department of Biosecurity.

He said his office knows the threat of the rhinoceros beetle is very serious, but he was not aware of any state of emergency.

All vehicles transporting wood from the north of Efate are supposed to be inspected for the beetle.

Meanwhile Biosecurity and Vanuatu Mobile Force Officers found CRB larvae while inspecting an excavator or digger that was on the ship LCT Ocean Chief.

The ship sailed from Moso Island which is one of the declared quarantine zones.

The Department of Agriculture said anything leaving Moso Island needs to be inspected.



Photo supplied Caption: The LCT Ocean Chief arrives from Moso Island