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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

US and Canada issue urgent Asian Gypsy Moth warning

In the past several weeks US and Canadian authorities have intercepted a large number of commercial marine vessels with live Asian gypsy moth (AGM) egg masses on the superstructures of ships and cargo. The pace of these interceptions during the past few weeks is a cause of great concern to both US and Canadian inspection agencies.


Gypsy Moth egg mass next to penny. Photo – Courtesy of Sue Lane, USDA – APHIS – PPQ


Adult Female (top) and Male (bottom) (Photo – Courtesy of USDA-APHIS-PPQ, www.forestryimages.org)

This year particularly high numbers of AGM adults are flying in some port areas at time of pre-departure inspections. Inspection certificates indicate that large numbers of egg masses have been removed and crews report removing hundreds of egg masses post certification.

In some cases, certification is issued many days prior to ship departure which allows ample time for reinfestation.

These events pose high risks for spreading this pest through North America, and infested vessels will be ordered into international waters for cleaning or to be rerouted to ports outside the United States and Canada.

In all cases, delays in cargo loading or discharging activities and in routine clearance have been significant and have result in a loss of revenue to the shipping line and associated parties. The vessels are unable to conduct cargo operations, miss cargo charters, and therefore experience significant schedule delays.

To view the press release issues by the US and Canadian authorities, please click here.

To view the Gypsy Moth Inspection Guide, please click here.

Contact: Joe Angelo