A new state of the art National Maritime Centre (NMC) in Adelaide is keeping an eye on ships for thousands of kilometres of coastline, assessing them for biosecurity risk.

From one location NMC staff can track ships as they enter Australian waters from overseas. With each international arrival, the team conducts risk-based assessments of the vessel based on pre-arrival reports, ballast water reports, human health factors and more.

NMC staff and technology can determine the biosecurity risk posed by any arriving ship. Ships may be carrying harmful hitchhiker pests such as brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), or human health risks such as COVID-19.

According to Edition 4 of Biosecurity Matters, if a vessel is deemed to be of high biosecurity risk, it will be issued with Directions under Australia’s laws to make sure it does not pass that risk onto our shores.

For example, if a vessel has been assessed as having unacceptably high risk of BMSB, the captain may be directed to stay at a distance of no less than three nautical miles from any land mass and undertake approved vessel management activities such as chemical treatment by a licensed pest control company.

Click here to find out what’s required for vessels arriving in Australia.