INFESTATION: Sanitation incinerating insect-infested wood offloaded in GB

INFESTATION: Sanitation incinerating insect-infested wood offloaded in GB
Photo courtesy of US Customs and Border Protection

Pintard: “We will find out.”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Officials in Grand Bahama were last night incinerating insect-infested wood and fumigating exposed areas after a cargo ship reportedly offloaded it without proper approval.

Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources Michael Pintard said an investigation has been launched into how the vessel was allowed to drop off the wood.

He addressed the matter as a guest on Beyond the Headlines with Clint Watson.

“We have a massive team incinerating the wood at Sanitation, fumigating both at Bradford Marine and Sanitation and we are carefully trying to find out how is it possible that a vessel can come into The Bahamas, dock, drop off the items…I’m not God, so I’m not omniscient, so I don’t know and that’s why we do investigations… and to find out how they can drop off the wood, and leave because we intended to detain whoever had done it and we will find out from the shipping agency, the barge that transferred and everyone who had custody of the wood so we are addressing it.”

Pintard did not reveal any further details; however, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in a statement on Wednesday, said a vessel it removed was on its way to Freeport for disposal services.

The CBP said its agriculture specialists at the Port of New Orleans had ordered the removal of a vessel named the Pan Jasmine “due to invasive insects found in the wood used to secure their previous cargo”.

The vessel was found to be infected with five separate pests, according to the CBP, noting there were two destructive and invasive species – beetle and ant – that required action.

Due to the large volume of (wood) and the presence of highly mobile pests, the vessel was ordered to immediately depart U.S. waters, load the (wood) into the cargo hold and clean the decks prior to returning to the U.S.,” the CBP statement read.

“The larvae of invasive wood-boring beetles can feed on a wide variety of trees in the U.S., eventually killing them,” the statement continued.

“The Myrmicinae queen ants are a concern because they are capable of producing a colony. The additional pests found have an established presence in the U.S. including Bostrichidae, a common wood-boring pest.”

It furthered the vessel departed on July 21 to Freeport.

According to the statement, New Orleans Area Port Director Terri Edwards said: “If the (wood) had been offloaded into the U.S., it would have been put in a Louisiana landfill where the insects could crawl out and invade the local habitat, causing incalculable damage.”

About Ava Turnquest

Ava Turnquest is the head of the Digital Department at Eyewitness News. Her most notable beat coverage spans but is not limited to politics, immigration and human rights, with a focus especially on minority groups. In 2018, she was nominated by the Bahamas Press Club for “The Eric Wilmott Award for Investigative Journalism”. Ava is deeply motivated by her passion about the role of fourth estate, and uses her pen to inform, educate and sensitize the public.


Nobody respect these governments in this country. They treat the Bahamas like a dumping ground all in the ocean because for the most part they been getting away with it so long and or they know nothing will be done ,other than making statements. If lousiana a swampland completely turn them away and make them clean up before ever returning, that should tell you how bad whatever they had in cargo was. Just shows foreign countries have no respect for the Bahamas and the law here

So true.. This shipping company needs to be fined and pay for the disposal of wood..

The way it should happen, find and detain the ship at sea not land, immediately fine the port one billion dollars as a start with more fines and jail times to come, all activities related to this, investigation, treatments, all are to be paid by the port, it entered their facility, that’s only fer a start, but we law gat rubber teeth especially fer foreigners we does take we teeth out.

Who gave approval for entry, was the manifested goods approved for be offloading and by who? What was the tariff paid? Was border enforcement agencies along with environment knowledgable about this? This does not sound as if this is a low level operation. A thorough investigation into how vessels enter or borders especially at the FCP, FHC, Bradford Marine and Bahama Rock.

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