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August 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The invasion of Giant African Snail to Fiji’s port is worrying the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF).

This was revealed by BAF chief executive Elvis Silvestrini at the BAF and stakeholders public consultation yesterday at the Attorney General’s Office in Suva.

Silvestrini said they in recent years discovered a few African Giant Snails in containers and this has put their officers on alert.

“There have been quite a few and they have been very stringent procedures in place at our wharves and containers and vessels that are coming from ports that we know have the Giant African Snails,” he said.

He said Australia has mistakenly thought that the Giant African Snails originated from Fiji as some containers changed ports in here.

“We do not have Giant African Snails in Fiji nor had one; however, we had intercepted the snail here.”

"Some cargos went through transit from Fiji and had the snail in them therefore there was some misconception."

Silvestrini said they have raised the issue with BAF officials who discussed it with their Australian counterparts in a diplomatic manner.

He said they are currently working on getting Fiji's name clear.

Meanwhile, BAF is also introducing a technology to look at the intercept of the invaded pests in to Fiji’s ports

Silvestrini said the technology will be used to identify pests that were not being able to be identified by the authority.

The ‘Diagnostic Technology’ will use to identify the pests, take shots of the image and send it to other areas in the region to look into their database to identify the pests.

By Ropate Valemei

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